A piece of music re-emerged between the moments of the New Year rising and last week's move back into the rhythm that drives Renew: Frank Sinatra's In The Wee Small Hours.
His is a smooth rendering, sleek and intimate over sparse orchestration that alternatively pokes and shimmers its way around the warmth of his voice.
In an article titled "Frank Sinatra Has a Cold" published in the April 1966 issue of Esquire, Gay Talese wrote:
Sinatra's intonation, precisely clipped, yet full and flowing, gave a deeper meaning to the simple lyrics -- "In the wee small hours of the morning/while the whole wide world is fast asleep/you lie awake, and think about the girl..." - it was, like so many of his classics, a song that evoked loneliness and sensuality, and when blended with the dim light and the alcohol and nicotine and late-night needs, it became a kind of airy aphrodisiac.
Both the song and the words about the song all point to a version of the past, a small window into American life in mid-20th Century mainstream or predominant culture at once warm and sinister. Contextually idyllic and classically patriarchal. Free and oppressed.