Joni James

In the Still of the Night

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In the Still of the Night, originally released on MGM in 1956, is practically a sequel to Joni James' previous album, When I Fall in Love... Paired again with David Terry's orchestra, James sings a dozen love songs in her sweet, soft-spoken style, which never overwhelms the listener or sacrifices the song on the altar of showy technique. Like many serious vocalists of her era, James embraced the album format as an avenue for exploring challenging material and sustaining a mood or theme for longer than three minutes. In the Still of the Night is comparable to a mood music album in its effectiveness at creating a dreamy, romantic atmosphere suitable for candlelit dinners and quiet evenings at home. The songs are traditional pop classics such as "Stardust" and "My Funny Valentine," painted in dusky shades and hushed tones. The three bonus tracks hail from different sessions and do not match the album nearly as well as those included on the reissue of When I Fall in Love... "More" and "Sentimental Me," in particular, were recorded in the mid-'60s and sound very different from the surrounding tracks, breaking the mood the previous 12 work so hard to create.

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