Various Artists

Ultra-Lounge, Vol. 5: Wild, Cool & Swingin'

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Ultra-Lounge, Vol. 5: Wild Cool & Swingin is the showbiz-encased, Vegas-sized 18-song compilation of late '50s and early '60s pop vocals. The emphasis is certainly more on the "cool" than the wild and swinging; if it ever breaks out a sweat, there will be a martini-dipped silk handkerchief on hand to wipe it away. You get selections from Rat Packers (Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr.), African-American mainstream pop (Nat King Cole, Lou Rawls), adult pop stars (Bobby Darin, Peggy Lee, Julie London), adult pop with a dash of vaudevillian slapstick (Louis Prima and Keely Smith), and those for whom Vegas was always the prize (a teenaged Wayne Newton). Targeted toward the nuevo cocktail crowd (it's volume five of Capitol's Ultra Lounge series), it's not the most satisfying survey of the form. Serious fans of pop vocals will find it too scattershot, and its packaging too flippant; space age poppers will find it too old-school cornball for their tastes, even if they're told it's part of some sort of cutting edge.

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