Sunday, August 25, 2019

Something For Sunday

I'm guessing Mel Tormé doesn't feature as strongly as Sinatra in your collection, if at all. I'm also guessing that it's because he has that Vegas thing going for him without being part of the Rat Pack - he's suave - or should that be suavé - and smooth, but perhaps a little too smooth? He lacks the sharp neurotic edge of Sinatra, the loucheness of Dino, yet he could sing better than either of them.

It's A Blue World is an impeccable collection of ballads, mostly arranged by Marty Paich. If you're expecting barstool confessionals, or staring at the cracks in the ceiling through the smoke of your last Lucky, you'll be disappointed. "It's A Blue World" is one of the songs, not the conceptual theme of the album, and that classy cover is misleading. It's suited to late night listening, but not the wee small hours, not that last lonely walk along the beach.

I'm ambivalent about this, as I am about Ella Fitzgerald. Like Ella, he sings almost supernaturally well, with perfect diction, perfect phrasing, and perfect pitch. And yet. Maybe it's that faultlessness that's at fault.

You might think that today's second Sunday Something© has little in common with It's A Blue World, and you'd be wrong. Damned Damned Damned has nothing in common with it at all. But you may need waking up after Mel, and this raucous, joyous, hilarious thrash sounds as good on Sunday as any other day. You can understand why an entire generation got fired up by this, but it beat them to the punch. The first Damned album said everything punk had to say - said it first, and said it better. Neat, neat, neat.