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Frank Sinatra’s “LA Is My Lady” Reviewed

LA Is My Lady, Frank Sinatra’s 58th and final album of fresh recordings and material fourteen years before he passed. Quincy Jones -two years after Thriller, produced, and all aboard tried their best to find an area where Frank was still at the heart of things. He wasn’t, and on the “Duets” album he did a better job of getting himself in the zeitgeist , so while look, it’s Sinatra’s final outing, isn’t that enough? He can sing it, his actual tone while obviously deeper than it was is as gorgeous as ever, but he can no longer own it. Whether it be Sammy Cahn, Cole Porter, Alan and Marilyn Bergman, Ebb and Kander and more heavyweights, he performs them very well but we expect more from Sinatra.

The most obvious problem is the worst song ever written about Los Angeles, at least Randy Newman’s “I Love LA” was satire, and “LA Woman” a sunset strip tripout, “”LA Is My Lady” is none of the above, a terrible and pandemic bummer from the man who sang “New York New York” and “My Kind Of Town”‘s Chicago tribute. The song is deeply flawed with a very weak metaphor that goes nowhere, and Frank using an indifferent swing.

While “Teach Me Tonight” is a perfect Cahn lyric and “Mack The Knife” includes a litany of singers who got to the track before him, neither is all that. But Sinatra can sing a Cahn lyric to a standstill, “Till The Real Thing Comes Along” is another fine lyric and Frank is so calm here, on all the songs, he never goes for the limit, rather he cooly executes his turns and misses. “Stormy Weather” is an awful jazz swing, “A Hundred Years From Today” should be better though the song sounds like it fell out of a fifties attempt to o a 40s musical and yet if he cares about it why doesn’t it sound like it?

At the time it felt like Frank past his prime, nothing special, now at least it is Frank and Quincy, and if it ain’t great it will do till the real thing comes along.

Grade: C+

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