12 Songs, 32 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Like a lot of singers over 30, Frank Sinatra spent a good chunk of the late '60s on albums intended to appeal to the burgeoning youth market. At the time, poet/songwriter Rod McKuen was a bona fide pop-culture phenomenon, and Sinatra tapped into the wordsmith's work for this album of McKuen tunes and poems. Of course, McKuen was over 30 himself by that time, and his outlook was surprisingly simpatico with Sinatra's style and persona. Sinatra fully inhabits the poet's portraits of melancholy men nursing their somber moods in everything from travel (“Lonesome Cities”) to the evening itself ("Night"). Though A Man Alone alternates between ballads and spoken-word pieces, it maintains a consistent feel: pensive but not as abjectly downcast as some of Sinatra's classic torch song albums. Or as McKuen (via The Chairman of the Board) puts it in "Some Traveling Music": "Tell somebody you're a loner, right away they think you're lonely. It's not the same thing, you know."

EDITORS’ NOTES

Like a lot of singers over 30, Frank Sinatra spent a good chunk of the late '60s on albums intended to appeal to the burgeoning youth market. At the time, poet/songwriter Rod McKuen was a bona fide pop-culture phenomenon, and Sinatra tapped into the wordsmith's work for this album of McKuen tunes and poems. Of course, McKuen was over 30 himself by that time, and his outlook was surprisingly simpatico with Sinatra's style and persona. Sinatra fully inhabits the poet's portraits of melancholy men nursing their somber moods in everything from travel (“Lonesome Cities”) to the evening itself ("Night"). Though A Man Alone alternates between ballads and spoken-word pieces, it maintains a consistent feel: pensive but not as abjectly downcast as some of Sinatra's classic torch song albums. Or as McKuen (via The Chairman of the Board) puts it in "Some Traveling Music": "Tell somebody you're a loner, right away they think you're lonely. It's not the same thing, you know."

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