As a self-professed lover of melancholy music, I have no shortage of songs to choose from today. Many of my favorite artists (think Aimee Mann and Belle & Sebastian) are known for writing sad songs. But I decided to reach back to a classic from well before my time.
Given my penchant for the melancholy, it’s no surprise that this is my favorite Frank Sinatra album (or that my second favorite is the break-up concept record Watertown, which I dissected song-by-song a couple of years ago).
I’m taking the week off as well, both from work and Meet Me in Montauk. In place of actual blog posts this week I will post five songs about (or at least containing the word) spring.
Kicking things off is Ol’ Blue Eyes himself, Frank Sinatra.
I don’t think there was any other possibility for the #1 spot on my list. Certainly not for a kid who grew up in a house filled with Frank Sinatra’s music.
I know this entry breaks a lot of patterns set up throughout the countdown — he’s of a different era and a different genre than all the rest — but so what? He’s the Chairman of the Board… he’s The Voice. He’s Sinatra.
You really think I can make a list of the best male vocalists and not include him? Forgetaboutit.
I think I’ve mentioned this before, but there are few albums that throw me back in time as effectively as Frank Sinatra Sings for Only the Lonely. That baby is a time machine… I pop it in and crank the dial back to 1982 where a 10-year-old boy sits in a North Miami house thick with the delicious aroma of wine and London broil.
They say the sense of smell is tied directly to our memory bank and that nothing takes you back like a familiar odor. But in this case, it’s the sound of these songs that transports me so powerfully that I can remember the smell of that place, and the feel of it — warm, cozy, safe. Sinatra is the sound of a happy childhood.