Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons

Folk-Nanny

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By no means the coffeehouse hootenanny its strange and misleading title suggests, Folk-Nanny is instead an odds-and-ends contractual obligation album wrapping up the Four Seasons' tenure with Vee-Jay. Despite its dubious origins, the album isn't half bad -- the harmonies are spectacular, of course, but the material also boasts a surprising emotional coherence that's steeped in the kind of romantic anguish tailor-made for Frankie Valli's falsetto. Songs like "Teardrops," "Long Lonely Nights," and "Melancholy" are no more subtle than their titles portend, but the austere arrangements and nuanced instrumentation capture a more intimate side of the Four Seasons sound rarely evoked on their biggest hits -- which is even more the reason that Folk-Nanny is for fans only, but the faithful will find this a far better and more rewarding listen than expected.

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