When you're listening to Nat King Cole, life is sweet and wholesome, like raw, buttery, cookie dough stolen on tip toe. And if that sounds too sentimental for words, wait 'til you hear this man's music - then you'll understand.
Unforced feelings flow through Cole and straight to your heart, carried by the simple subtlety of his voice as it floats, unbearably beautiful because it's so warm, over a chorus of crying violins in the crooner songs, or skips over dignified, jaunty organ and big band brass. Where Frank Sinatra was ornate, swaggering and sinister, Nat King Cole is playful, almost courteous, as he teases emotional meaning from the music with barely a flourish.
Take a listen to the way he swings into "...before they ask us to pay the bill" on the famous opening track "Let's face the music and dance", and his exquisite, effortless delivery of that famous line from the Eden Ahbez-penned "Nature boy" - "The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love | and be loved in return".
So, he's brilliant, and every home should have one of Cole's CDs in the shelf. But is The World of Nat King Cole the one to go for?Yes, it's the one. At 27 tracks, The World... is the most generous with songs. It's nicely remastered, and the song selection covers most of the really important recordings ("The Christmas song" is missing though).
The liner notes are basically an essay by his singer daughter Natalie (who Nat Senior duets with, assisted by technology, on the second version of "Unforgettable"). You'll also find quotes from his fellow musos, and great photos in the booklet, of Cole meeting President Kennedy, jolling with Sammy Davis Junior, flirting with Geishas and kissing his wife.- Jean BarkerFYI: "Nature Boy" was written by Eden Ahbez, the man widely known as "The First Hippy" (to those who apparently haven't heard of Jesus). Nat King Cole himself wrote only one of the 26 songs - "Straighten up and fly right".
WHAT OTHER CRITICS SAID:Easily the longest of any Capitol single-disc compilation, 2005's The World of Nat King Cole also benefits from a fresh remastering of its material to make it the best introduction to the interpretive brilliance of Nat King Cole.- John Bush for Allmusic.com
The best singers invariably have it. That uncanny interpretative ability to make even the most sentimental song lyric sound believable. Or, even better, actually magical. - Miles Keylock on the CD Wherehouse website
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