Frank Sinatra, A Swingin’ Affair!

Will Friedwald

By Will Friedwald

on 05.18.11 in Reviews

A Swingin' Affair!

Frank Sinatra
An all-time Sinatra career peak.

For 55 years, the debate has raged among Sinatraphiles: "Which album do you like better, Swingin' Lovers or Swingin' Affair?" While Lovers is an insurmountable masterpiece, Affair can be said to be slightly more: every track is slightly faster, slightly louder, slightly more jubilant — in fact, the opening "Night and Day" is an even more thrilling high-energy treatment of a Cole Porter classic than "I've Got You Under My Skin." (Then too, the same thing could be said about "At Long Last Love," "You'd Be So Nice to Come Home to," and "From This Moment On," all of which are here.) Riddle's gift for brilliant uptempo charts — with distinctive and unique introductions — reaches an all-time peak here. With "I Got it Bad" and "The Lonesome Road," Sinatra explores yet other kinds of moods within the larger emotional canvas — he can modulate from despondent to euphoric even within a single track. Speaking personally, track two, "I Wish I Were in Love Again" is two minutes and 29 seconds that literally changed my life, and I know I'm not the only one.