Picks and Pans Review: She Shot Me Down

updated 01/11/1982 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 01/11/1982 AT 01:00 AM EST

Frank Sinatra

Every once in a while in his career, Sinatra has recorded songs so outlandishly inappropriate that they serve as reminders of how imaginative and resourceful his choice of material usually is. The title tune of this LP, Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down), belongs on that list. Sinatra sings it straight and somberly, as if it were written by Richard Wagner and not by Sonny Bono, who with Cher managed a hit with it in 1966. Bang Bang is a jarring note in an otherwise warm and admirable album. Sinatra turns up some exceptional songs—Stephen Sondheim's Good Thing Going, Pamela Phillips and Don Costa's Monday Morning Quarterback and Gordon Jenkins' I Loved Her. There's also Thanks for the Memory, the signature song of Bob Hope. Sinatra commissioned new lyrics by Leo Robin, and while references to "jet," "jog," "smog" and "Malibu" in a 1937 song seem unnecessary, it's still a pleasure to hear. The album's tone is melancholy. But while Jenkins, who did most of the arrangements, lacks the punch that Costa, Nelson Riddle and Billy May have lent Sinatra's work in the past, he moves things along well enough most of the time. Sinatra himself is in fine voice and, as always, in command of his musical remorse.

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