California Girl

California Girl

Nancy Sinatra’s California Girl is a West Coast–themed compilation from 2002 that plays like a Jackie DeShannon album from the mid-'60s. It opens with “How Are Things in California?”—a delightfully blatant tap into the sound of The Mamas & the Papas, replete with baroque flourishes and “bah-bah-bah” backing vocals. Sinatra even covers their “California Dreamin’,” taking a less obvious approach with a beautiful balance of folk-pop and bossa nova styles gussied up in pillowy string arrangements. Many good pockets of The Golden State are covered throughout this collection. Over a swanky go-go beat and a swinging horn section, she extolls the valley encircled by the Transverse Ranges in “San Fernando Valley” before taking on the Kaper/Jurmann/Kahn show tune “San Francisco” from its eponymous 1936 musical (sung with more sass than the original Jeanette MacDonald recording). Sinatra then dips south 50 miles with the Burt Bacharach and Hal David classic “Do You Know the Way to San Jose?”; this rendition keeps close to the 1968 Dionne Warwick original.

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