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Songs for Young Lovers & Swing Easy ()

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Combining Frank Sinatra's first two ten-inch albums for Capitol, the compact disc Songs for Young Lovers/Swing Easy! not only contains some of the best music Sinatra recorded, it captures a turning point in popular music. Songs for Young Lovers was the first album Frank Sinatra recorded for Capitol, as well as his first collaboration with Nelson Riddle. It was also one of the first -- arguably the very first -- concept album. Sinatra, Riddle, and producer Voyle Gilmore decided that the new album format should be a special event, featuring a number of songs arranged around a specific theme; in addition, the new format was capable of producing a more detailed sound, which gave Riddle more freedom in his arrangements and orchestrations. Songs for Young Lovers is a perfect example of this. Supported by a small orchestra, Sinatra and Riddle create an intimate, romantic atmosphere on the record, breathing new life into standards like "My Funny Valentine," "They Can't Take That Away From Me," "I Get a Kick Out of You," and "A Foggy Day." There is a breezy confidence to Sinatra's singing, and Riddle's arrangements are more complex than they initially appear. Sinatra and Riddle expanded this approach on his second Capitol album, Swing Easy! As the title implies, the record concentrates on up-tempo swingers. Again, the songs were all standards -- "Just One of Those Things," "Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams," "All of Me" -- that benefited from the new thematic setting, the new arrangements, and, of course, Sinatra's increasingly playful and textured vocals. Sinatra plays around with the melodies without leaving them behind, delivering each line with precision. It ranks as one of his most jazzy performances, as well as one of his most fun and carefree records. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi Hide synopsis

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