Tues Nov 2
3017 SE Milwaukie nancy sinatra It’s payback time!
There's a little bit of poetic justice in Nancy Sinatra's new self-titled album-- soundly punctuating a career so desperately deserving. It's a just desert that finally finds Sinatra welcomed in the arms of a new generation's counterculture icons--the same sort that nearly capsized her career over three decades earlier.
After a string of earned pop hits between 1966 and 1968 (aided in no small part by songwriter and collaborator Lee Hazlewood), the changin' times found Old Blue Eye's seed becoming something of an immediate symbol of '60s antiquation--a member of the old guard that a dismissive counterculture so diligently railed against. By the early '70s, Sinatra had retired to raise her children, and quickly became little more than that girl who sang that song about the boots.
After a couple of unsuccessful bids for a comeback, Sinatra finally strikes gold with the benefit of a distinctly modern formula. As proven with the recent success of Loretta Lynn's Van Lear Rose (the Jack White-produced album of earlier this year), and, to a lesser extent, Johnny Cash's American series, the modern "comeback" album is largely more a matter of savvy debt collecting than any sort of traditional return--that of recognizing your influence upon a younger generation, and of mining the balance due. In Sinatra's case, a good deal of the bill collecting was done by her daughter, AJ Azzarto, who pushed Sinatra toward collaboration with a generation of musicians whose reverence for her discography clearly exceeded that of her own. With initial commitments from Thurston Moore and Calexico's Joey Burns, Sinatra found her champion in longtime friend and Hollywood neighbor Morrissey, a Sinatra obsessive who had recently made a comeback of his own.
Released on Sanctuary Records under Morrissey's own Attack imprint, Nancy Sinatra allows indie (and not-so-indie) royalty a shot at filling Lee Hazlewood's impossible shoes--with The Mozzer, Moore, Burns, Pulp's Jarvis Cocker, Pete Yorn, Little Stevie Van Zandt, and U2 all taking a stab. About as even as any of her classic records (which is to say, not terribly), the songs on Nancy Sinatra come off more as loving tributes to the chanteuse's discography than as some desperate bid for modern relevance. It's a worthy homage to a voice so long marginalized--and barring some sort of Travoltian catastrophe, may act as a very suitable raspberry toward her many middle-aged detractors.