In the Wee Small Hours – Frank Sinatra

Artist: Frank Sinatra

Year: 1955

Genre: Swing

Grade: A+

Frank Sinatra had been building up to this album his entire career. In the Wee Small Hours is a beyond-perfect pop record, with not a single song or second wasted. The opening title track sets the mood perfectly — perhaps Sinatra’s finest recorded moment. Perhaps? No, I’m sure of it: “In the Wee Small Hours” is one of the greatest songs in music history.

The rest of the LP flows by in a graceful manner, full of extreme depth and emotion. Sinatra’s singing was never better — so much control and expression in his voice. Yet the thing that really makes the record so special is the musical accompaniment, which is a perfect match to the melancholy subject matter. Nelson Riddle’s lush, dreamlike arrangements recall Bernard Herrmann at his best.

Without a doubt, this is Sinatra’s greatest album, a must-own for any lover of music, regardless of personal preference. In the Wee Small Hours is universal. We’ve all been more than glad to be unhappy. Sometimes, it’s a pleasure to be sad.

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