⍜ The Beautiful Strangers ⍜
The Voice singing the words of poet Rod McKuen. A brilliant marriage of a man with a heart doomed to a wistful solitude. Those ‘Beautiful Strangers‘ – the Lauras and Dindis about which he used to sing. who filled him with hope for a true love that never quite made it but he would still try… The effort, gone.
‘The Beautiful Strangers’ – arguably the standout track of the album, ‘A Man Alone,“The Words & Music of McKuen”. The song where McKuen’s lyrics are most revealing, Sinatra is at his absolute best and where Costa is right on the button!
Frank Sinatra sings in character, as a city dwelling, middle aged man, reminiscing about the ups and downs of a solitary existence. Romantic, easy listening orchestra provides a delicate balance of sweeping, soaring strings, harp stabs & brushes with Sinatra’s vocals crooning wistful lyrics about memories of brief encounters.
This 1969 offering is something of a curio in the Sinatra oeuvre. Musically similar to a later reprise of “In The Wee Small Hours” or “September of My Years”. Only now, with an even older, more maudlin Sinatra.
The women are now faceless strangers. And none stand out, not even a friend, except for a man at peace with his lot in life.
Just give a long listen to The Beautiful Strangers. It doesn’t get any better than this.
RIYL: Andy Williams, Perry Como