16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
The finest of Sinatra's years,
This review is from: September Of My Years (Audio CD)
This album is unquestionably Sinatra at his finest, those who are critical of the Reprise era of Sinatra, need only listen to this to be proven very wrong. The album is of good length in regards to playtime, something which is often abused in albums such as Strangers in the night which despite being a great album offers barely 27 minutes of listening time. The recording quality is very high, equal to that of Sinatra and Strings which I feel offers the finest audio quality of any Sinatra album. I also happen to just love the album artwork. Now we have the boring technicalities out of the way lets get down to the crux of what makes this album sublime.
Vocally Sinatra is a wonder on this album, this captures that magicial 1962-1969 period where his voice is just filled with warmth, yet maintaining of that characteristic silky tone and flexibility, even if it is on the decline during this period. In regards to the song selection we see some tremendous numbers grace the record, old and new. In particular songs such as "September Song" and "Last Night When We were young" are special for a very simple reason. When Sinatra sang these when he was younger he sang them beautifully, and was able to fill them with emotion as any singer of his calibre can do, the difference for me with these recordings is that it sounds as if he has actually has or is, living the lyrics. He transcends good singing and emotion and it sounds more like a soliloquy or eulogy of his life. "It was a very good year" is often seen as the star track from this album, and rightly so it is a tremendous piece of music however for me the star tracks are the title track "September of my Years", "I see it Now" and "Man in the looking glass", "Hello Young Lovers" is a song that almost breaks the listeners heart while listening as Sinatra mutters the lyric "Don't cry because I'm alone".
Make no mistake about it, this is an album of roller coasting emotions. It is sad about the loss of the past and what has happened in it, yet at times a Sinatra introduces a wonderful optimism into the music despite that. At times this album looks fondly on the past as well, but above all it is reflection and nostalgia at its very best.
This album works on so many levels and one of the key aspects for me is the strength within Sinatra's voice. We get the sense of a man who has led an amazing life and whether he is damaged on the inside or not, presents us with strength of character. In rock and roll the "wall of sound" is an often used phrase and in this album we see the orchestral equivalent, we hear massive intense walls of sound from the orchestra which risk drowning Sinatra out, however no need to turn up the mic or tone down the orchestra here, Sinatra's voice has the power to match the power of the arrangements bar to bar.
A must have for any Sinatra fan, or anyone over the age of 40. Sinatra's finest hour.
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Initial post: 18 May 2013 12:59:48 BDT
Simon Turner says:
And for anyone far younger than 40 but with an advanced music taste--the same route that takes a person to Captain Beefheart can bring them to Sinatra's greatest: the route to where boundaries are pushed.
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