Nat King Cole
Capitol Records - ST 21139 (c1968)
It's nice to have short, easily digestible songs, and while some are very much of their time ("Those Lazy Hazy Crazy Days of Summer" has some particularly cringe-inducing lyrics to modern ears), they all sound pleasant. I was familiar with about half of the songs on this album - the timeless classics such as "Unforgettable" of course - but it's been nice to hear others. Tracks like "I Don't Want to be Hurt Anymore" or "Dear Lonely Hearts" sound almost country; "L-O-V-E" is as swinging as anything Sinatra has recorded (it's interesting to note that both singers worked with the same arrangers, such as Nelson Riddle).
I have a particular fondness for "Let There Be Love", as I think my parents had this on 45 and I must have been hearing it since my teens. Cole's voice is remarkably consistent across all these songs - perhaps he doesn't have the range of a Frank Sinatra, but his vocal quality is of course unique and instantly identifiable. Easy listening in the very best sense.
[side note: I'm cheating a bit again, as my record player is still playing up, so I mostly listened to this on Spotify. I'm a bit disappointed - I really wanted to be playing the actual discs - but I wanted to carry on with the listening anyway]