Various Artists

Ultra-Lounge, Vol. 4: Bachelor Pad Royale

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As the title implies, the songs on this 18-song compilation were intended for bachelors who wanted to create a suitably suave atmosphere between the mid-'50s and mid-'60s. So although the music draws from jazz (both big band and cool), lounge pop, and film/TV soundtracks, it's primarily designed to set a mood or background. That means that when it's pushed to the foreground, it really doesn't sound all that entertaining, even as it evokes archetypical (and oft-silly) vibes of a certain era. Martin Denny, Julie London, Nelson Riddle, and a host of no-names from the Capitol vaults bring you that sound here. When an occasional element of excitement, even danger, creeps in (Riddle's "Theme from Route 66," Elliott Fisher's "Theme from Our Man Flint," Jimmie Haskell's "A Shot in the Dark"), the interest level rises, as it does for any slice of good soundtrack music. Otherwise, these days it makes the ambience stuffier, not cooler.

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