There are upbeat Frank Sinatra albums, and there are downbeat Frank Sinatra albums. This is one of the latter. Released in 1958 at a time that Frank Sinatra was dishing out a flurry of album releases, this should be an interesting listen, following the format of some previous releases of his, such as In The Wee Small Hours. This is history all the same, so let’s take a listen to it.
We kick off with the title track Only The Lonely which has a melancholy string and piano section to begin with, which is rather sad. Frank Sinatra then sings away nicely, and puts in a great effort for a sad piece of music here. A great and very listenable song about missing a lover who is long gone. Excellent sound and beauty is here, and fans of Crooner, Jazz and Vocal Jazz styles will love this. Frankie puts in a wonderful artistic and excellent singing role for missing a lover here, which is saddening and full of regret. Great song, and a nice start to this album. Very good listening here, and a definitive moment in heartbreaking songs. It finishes off with some slow piano.
Next here is Angel Eyes comes next, which has a quick intro, before Frank Sinatra encourages the audience to enjoy life as he sadly sings about lost love. A really fine piece of music, Frank puts his heart on his sleeve about a woman sent from the devil to meet him, although he misses her terribly. A sad and melancholy piece that is for those low moods, Frank Sinatra does very well here. A great piece of music for those who are broken hearted, this is heavy subject matter. Good song, once again.
What’s New? is a rather long piece for Frank Sinatra, at over five minutes long. It begins with strings and a troubled sounding trumpet solo, before Frank launches straight into the song at hand. A really good piece of sad lament, this is still Frank Sinatra doing what he does brilliantly. A fine piece of music about seeing an ex-partner who one has mixed feelings about, it is a great piece to listen to in a low or teary mood. A fine trumpet solo is here in the middle, only adding to the air of desperation here. The instrumentation here is very near perfect, and just sounds legendary. Frankie admits to the old love that it is nice to see her again, all in a very sad story. It has a sad climax at the end, very unhappy but awesome song all the same.
It’s A Lonesome Old Town begins with an eerie string section, somber horns and clarinets. A very sad sounding piece of music that is very disturbing in some ways, Frank Sinatra sings about being alone and lonely in a very deep way. A very good effort nonetheless, although this is clearly for when one is in a low mood. Great to hear all the same, it is a plea here. There is a decent trumpet solo here which flutters over the rest of the mix, illuminating one’s despair. A really great sounding piece of music all the same, this is one for you when you feel the world is dragging you down. Melancholy at its finest, decades before Coldplay made their own form of it, a very sad song indeed. It concludes with more trumpet, good to hear.
Next here is Willow Weep For Me which begins with some excellent horns, strings and melodies that are very good indeed. Soon enough, Frank Sinatra begins crooning away to full effect. A very good song about being blue and broken hearted, there are some excellently penned lyrics here, which are matched very well musically. Comparing heartbreak to nature, Frank Sinatra sure shows how good he is at illuminating the dark side of romance. Great stuff all the same, this is very good to listen to, even today. The delicious instrumentation here is very good as a solo section in the second half, showcasing the song, before Frank sings again to conclude this song. A decent song here, once again.
Following is Good-Bye which is an extensive Frank Sinatra song at nearly six minutes long. It sounds very dark and miserable at the beginning, before Frank quickly enters, singing about the breakup of one’s darkest moments. This is quite like Joy Division’s Love Will Tear Us Apart, except set to Frankie’s own musical terms. It is a song about departed love and difficulties involved here, and is a real showcase for the worst love moments you can imagine. Fortunately, Frank Sinatra pulls this off wonderfully, and this is a really great listen, for whenever that bad moment hits you. Very depressing, but it makes perfect sense on this record for those truly sour moments in life. Excellent dramatics, Frank succeeds very well here. A great song for those truly bleak times.
Blues In The Night is next, with some pseudo-Horror movie instrumentation, which is very unusual for this sort of music here. It is slow, suspenseful and very dark to listen to. Eventually some direct lyrics and sharp sounding violins enter, revealing a dark hearted nature to this album. Brilliant melodramatic listening however, it does really work nicely here. It eventually changes to a more up-tempo piece that sounds very good. There is some whistling here as well, which is different. To be fair, this flip-flop side of Frank Sinatra, although very decent, is not the best side of his music here, which is a small flaw. Regardless, a suspenseful and different piece of music, regardless of the dreariness and darkness of this song.
Guess I’ll Hang My Tears Out To Dry begins with some Spanish sounding acoustic guitar, before launching quickly into a different, yet excellent song is delivered here. This is not your typical Frank Sinatra song, even for this album, but the surprises await the listener here. A decent listening experience at hand, Frankie sounds very good here, the music and his voice match here quite nicely. Singing about crying in sunny weather, Frank Sinatra clearly isn’t a happy chappy here. A very awesome piece of sad music with a twist towards the end of the song, this is excellent quality listening. Very, very good.
Next here is Ebb Tide which begins with some rather unusual rising and falling melodies with percussion to begin with, perhaps representing the tide itself. Frank sings in his usual Crooner brilliance, but with passionate and sad emotion here. A great piece of music about meeting a long lost lover in a public place and joyfully reuniting, it seems unusual for this piece to be put onto this album. Nonetheless, it is good and very consistent, as per usual.
Following is Spring Is Here which begins with some strange melodic string sections, sounding rather unsettling. Our legend sings away here nicely, with passion and melody that few could match. This song is of a questioning nature of the lost love that one has. Despite the welcomed warmer weather, Frank Sinatra sounds clearly blue, missing the feeling of being in love with another person. Still, he sounds optimistic about the change in seasons all the same. Undeniably good music here with lush instrumentation, Frank Sinatra sounds really on his game here, and does a fantastic job singing away nicely here. Great music to listen to, with an optimistic sounding conclusion to finish.
Gone With The Wind begins with some gorgeous flute and backing instrumentation that sounds pretty, fresh and well thought out. This song may refer to the 1939 movie itself which is one of the most legendary films ever made, but sounds like a really brilliant song here, delivered nicely by Frank Sinatra. A great effort here nonetheless, it is a broken hearted, yet optimistic sounding song. Great music here, it just fits what you need when feeling lonely. Throughout is a mixture of emotion that is difficult to know whether or not Frank Sinatra is feeling happiness or sadness here, this is a great listen all the same. It has a sad conclusion though, but is a fine song regardless.
One For My Baby begins with some interesting Jazz styled piano here, which makes it sound completely different here, especially as the final song on this album. Frank Sinatra paints a picture of being the last one in a bar and singing alone about broken hearted blues. This is as close as Frank Sinatra diverts from the rest of this album musically, but this is a fine and nicely fitting piece of music nonetheless. A quality finish to quite a sad album, every cloud has its silver lining, it seems. No doubt Frank Sinatra’s music here and on other recordings will be remembered for generations in the future. He sounds unusually joyful for the difficulties he is singing about, and this album finishes nicely as a result. Good and enjoyable listening.
This album is a good and decent listen from start to finish. The only the real flaw here is the mixture of light and shade emotionally sounds a little odd and awkward at times on some of the songs here. Still, it is classic Frank Sinatra and he does deliver very well here. A must for any Crooner fans out there, and definitely worth hearing if you are interested to hear this sort of music and have not heard of Frank Sinatra before. Good to hear nonetheless.
Light and dark themes set to music.
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