In Full Swing

by: Seth MacFarlane

Standing in contrast to the moody 2015 set No One Ever Tells You, 2017's In Full Swing contains some of the sunny brio its title suggests. Chalk it up to the songs Seth MacFarlane selects, of course. There's nary a song of heartbreak among the album's 16 numbers, and he doesn't rely on overly familiar tunes, either. This lighthearted batch of songs is given effervescent arrangements by Joel McNeely, who gladly keeps the proceedings cool and breezy. As always, MacFarlane and McNeely are so besotted with Frank Sinatra's classic long-players for Capitol that their act can seem like a bit of swinging cosplay, with MacFarlane mimicking Old Blue Eyes' finger-snapping charm and McNeely penning love letters to Nelson Riddle, but their execution is expert and, since the touch is light, In Full Swing feels looser and better than its predecessors. MacFarlane and McNeely have taken Frank's advice to take things Nice 'n' Easy to heart, and they're the better for it. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

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