It took me awhile to get into Frank Sinatra. Between my grandma and my most conscious Italian soccer teammates, I pretty much wrote off old "blue eyes". The past year though really set the stage for latching onto Frank: utter boredom with 99.9% of indie music, a taste for Lucky Strikes, a love affair with whiskey, and finding Cycles for a buck at a thrift store.
The cover has Frank looking sharp as usual sitting at the bottom of the stairs with his head in his hand. When I saw it, I knew this is the kind of Frank Sinatra I could get into--sad Frank, hungover Frank; not lounge-singer, big-band, not my grandma's Frank, not soccer team Frank.
Sure enough, Cycles did not let me down (footnote #1). Most of Cycles is Frank singing about feeling like shit. The whole album has instrumentation like a pop album from the 60's which makes Cycles a perfect gateway album for those of you that grew up around punk and indie music. There are a couple cover songs the album could do without. But songs like "Rain in My Heart" kick my dick in every time.
"Rain in My Heart" will win you to Frank Sinatra. You will notice Frank has the best rhythm and feeling in his phrasings. You will begin to crave the confidence in Frank's voice. And other songs will just seem kind of blah--a donut with no cream filling (footnote #2).
So basically...start smoking, start with Cycles, pick up every Frank Sinatra record you can get your hands on, wait till you come with a bottle of whiskey, and let him wail.
#1 I highly recommend judging records by their cover when in a thrift store and they are only a buck or two.
#2 This phrase is credited to Tyler Farren who used it to describe a song I had just written and played for him a couple months back.