Elegant album by the great Nat King Cole
Matthew G. Sherwin | last seen screaming at Amazon customer service | 03/26/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Nat King Cole Sings for Two in Love/Sings Ballads is a great two-fer CD that has all the songs from two of Nat King Cole's record albums entitled Nat King Cole Sings for Two In Love and Nat King Cole Sings Ballads Of The Day. The quality of the sound is very good; and I like the miniature replicas of the original artwork. In addition, the musical arrangements by Nelson Riddle shine with their usual energy every step of the way!
The track set begins with Nat crooning his heart out on "Our Love Is Here To Stay." Nat sings this very sweetly and his voice never sounded better. Nat's excellent diction and timing make his rendition of this classic love song a very memorable piece; and it's a strong beginning for this album. "This Can't Be Love" features Nat squarely front and center with a jazzy big band style arrangement; I love that elegant piano work and the number is easily a highlight of this album. "Autumn Leaves" always tugs at my heartstrings whenever I hear it; and Nat does this great justice to this fine, melancholy ballad.
"Almost Like Being In Love" is an infectious tune that has a distinctly upbeat flavor and the brass combined with the piano really carries the melody well! Nat never sings a superfluous note and that amazes me. There's no question why Nat King Cole was so successful! "Tenderly" is yet another gorgeous love ballad that Nat delivers without a flaw. Terrific!
"Angel Eyes" is a romantic tune that Nat embellishes just right when he delivers this like the pro he always was; and the musical arrangement works wonders for this ballad. "Smile" is another number that moves me greatly whenever I hear it; this ballad works so well to touch people and Nat uses his voice as an instrument to convey every subtle nuance of the lyrics to his audience. Moreover, "Darling, Je Vous Aime Beaucoup" strikes me with its beauty; Nat always sang this very well and if you listen for the piano it's very elegant.
"Return To Paradise" is actually a new number for me; I don't recall hearing this number before. Nat sings this very well and the percussion helps to set the mood for this number. Nat handles the tempo changes effortlessly. The album ends with Nat performing "The Sand And The Sea;" he delivers this beautifully and it makes a charming ending for this album. There's a backup chorus but even without it Nat could have handled this tune more than just "OK."
Overall, this is one excellent CD that fans of Nat King Cole cannot afford to ignore. People who like classic pop vocals and even the "oldies" will keep this album for ages to come.