Wednesday, August 8, 2012

"That's Life" by Frank Sinatra (1966)

View the Premise & Ground Rules for Revisiting Vinyl

Filed Between: Simon & Garfunkel ("Bookends" and "Bridge over Troubled Water" were determined to be required listening) and Sir Mix-a-Lot (EP only - otherwise, required listening beware)

Key Tracks:
The key tracks have the unassailable laizes faire quality that crop up on the best Frank tunes.  That's Life sums it all up in two words.  And then, at this point in his life, Sinatra got Don Quixote on an unnerving, fundamental level, so The Impossible Dream gets sloffed in there as well.  I tend to think of Sammy Davis, Junior as Sancho Panza - but that's just me...

My Overall Rating of the Tracks Separately:
Above Average (2.5/4 stars)

When I first came up with the idea for this blog, I really hoped I would get a chance to review Sinatra's "September of My Years."  It's a fantastic them album about dealing with the aging process.  I missed it by one and landed on "That's Life" instead.  So, I told myself that it's still Reprise-era Sinatra and that he attacks everything with an inescapable joie de vivre.  But then I saw that there's a cover of Winchester Cathedral on this LP...

But even a bad Frank song is at least on par with a lot of artists' good output.  "That's Life" is tolerable - it's even
enjoyable.  It just makes me sad 'cause Ole Blue Eyes can do so much better.  To lay it out, there's not a bad song on "That's Life" (he even brings the abysmal Winchester Cathedral up to a listenable level with a horn section and an oxcart full of swagger), but there just aren't enough great songs and - let's be realistic - some artists get held to a higher standard.

So, is it an album?  No.  It's just a bunch of songs.  That makes it doubly disappointing that it's not "September of My Years."  Oh well, there are still four months of this project left - maybe we'll get lucky and hit the one I wanted too.

Up next. we see if The Who can redeem themselves with the role that Rod Stewart and Elton John almost came to blows over - it's a rock opera, and another double album - "Tommy."

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