“Strangers in the Night” has a theme – the chance wonder of meeting the right person – that I usually rather like. And you can see the outlines of a sweet song in Sinatra’s statesmanlike, somewhat bombastic reading. His control and pacing are intact but he seems unwilling to give the song much nuance or life, and the overfull arrangement never requires him to. There’s something of the leatherbound, the definitive about this performance: Sinatra is laying down a recording that can be used at a diamond anniversary as easily as a wedding. But ‘people fall in love’ is no insight; “I fell in love” might be. And in the closing seconds, a glimpse of that, Sinatra drifting off into “doo-be-doo-be-doos”. He might just be marking time, but it’s like granite smiling.

Score: 5

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