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Softly As I Leave You
Frank Sinatra
Softly As I Leave You
Genres: Jazz, Pop, Broadway & Vocalists


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Great singing, not-so-great songs
Jon Warshawsky | San Diego, CA USA | 08/02/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)

"The '60s were the beginning of the end for jazz-infused popular music. 'Softly as I Leave You' finds Sinatra looking for material worthy of his vocal talents and commercially viable. Here he succeeds on the second count, but only occasionally on the first. Five stars for the vocals, two stars for the songs.The Billy May numbers, 'Here's to the Losers' and 'Come Blow Your Horn', still work -- the former is something of a fun anthem, and May's raucous swing is perfect here. Even with great arrangements and fine vocals, however, these are simply well-performed pop songs. The musical acting that makes Sinatra's 'Wee Small Hours' and (later) 'September of My Years' so enthralling never happens on 'Softly' -- I suspect Sinatra was listening to the record producers and not his own instinct for what was great music.The best? The title track is moving, even with the obligatory '60s choir in the background. Sinatra explores his somewhat deepened register, with none of the coarseness that would alter his sound later in the decade, and the result is seamless and powerful. He sounds engaged in the song.The rest? 'Suddenly Love' treats us to lyrics such as 'Love kicked in the window, Love knocked down the door.' 'Pass Me By' is excruciating, children's music but without the dignity of 'Pocketful of Miracles.' I will never understand how an album that proclaims to bring us Sinatra singing about 'everything there is to know about love' would sink to this kitsch.Not an easy review to write, because the best popular albums ever made have Sinatra written all over them. In 1965, 'September of My Years' and two years later 'Sinatra and Jobim' would prove that no one had more class when it came to concept albums. The Reprise era was uneven, however, and the present album -- even with a few high points -- shows the wheels coming off the exquisite taste and excellence of the Sinatra legend.Recommend for serious Sinatra fans and completists only."
A More commercial Sound of Frank
Jon Warshawsky | 10/08/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This album is a classic example of the more commercial sound created for Frank by Producer Sonny Burke in the Sixties in addition to albums such as "Strangers In The Night", and "Sinatra 65". It is a fine collection of tunes given the Ultimate in performance by Frank.My favorite cuts are "I Can't believe I'm losing You","Emily",and the upbeat "Here's To The Losers". Also included is the title tune from the movie "Come Blow Your Horn". A must buy for any Sinatra Collector."
Very solid, quite enjoyable - an under appreciated gem
R. Strength | Tempe, AZ USA | 09/30/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I think this is truly a solid and under rated effort. It is very listenable with the exception of "Pass Me By". The album starts out very strong: "Emily", "Here's to the Losers", "Dear Heart", "Come Blow your Horn" are great tunes - the Nelson Riddle arrangements are all superior.

The album takes a serious dip with "Pass Me By", a number that sounds like it would be perfectly suited for a 1960s Rankin/Bass stop-animation classic (it is actually from a 1964 Cary Grant romantic-comedy "Father Goose" - which, along with the backgound vocals, explains the extremely dated sound).

I have to make a special note of "Then Suddenly Love"... it is one of my all-time favorite tunes. It swings with fine horn arrangements, jazzy drum riffs and an extremely buoyant performance by Sinatra. I don't know many people who know the song, but anyone I've played it for thinks it is a blast and a "must-have"... you can't help but dance, snap your fingers, or tap your toes to it. Silly lyrics? I don't listen to Frank for his messages - this song is fun, romantic and joyous... everything being in love should be. Why this song isn't considered a standard is beyond me."