Even though singing with a big orchestra without her playing on the piano, "her base", she calls it, is not her forte, it is still interesting to listen to this earlier records by Shirley Horn.
I definitely prefer the first album "Loads of Love" - it's lush and sultry. It is a voice of young Shirley Horn. Her voice is full of emotion. Only The Lonely was made famous by Frank Sinatra. When I heard Sinatra's version, I wasn't crazy about the song. I've never liked Sinatra as a singer. And here, I listen to Horn singing the classic standards like "Only The Lonely" and "Second Time Around", it's exquisite rendered with her beautiful phrasing style. The strings I hear in this album are just sumptuous. I didn't like the second album that much. You can sense that she wasn't herself on that album although albums like these made her name as "Musician's musician". But Shirley felt that she couldn't be truthful to her performance without her piano. She said she was then just a girl reading the lyrics off from the page instead of singing or bringing the words to live as she did in her later records such as "Loving You" and "Here's to Life" albums. But still, when she sings a song like "Go Away Little Boy" (written by Carole King), you can't help falling in love with her style of interpretation and her voice!