Album Review

Nat "King" Cole - Dear Lonely Hearts

Nat "King" Cole

Dear Lonely Hearts


Release Date: December 10th, 1962

Words by: Elizabeth Izzo
December 13th, 1962


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In every musician's career there comes a point when, if they don't develop their sound in some way, no matter how talented they are their work starts becoming redundant. Albums need to evolve,because if they don't, they have no chance at having any sort of longevity.

Dear Lonely Hearts is a prime example; so underwhelming that when it disappeared and seemed to never resurface. Nat King Cole was eighteen albums into his career when he released Ramblin' Rose, an album that appeared to signal his turn down a Country/Western inspired path. A monumental change. However, in the subsequent Dear Lonely Hearts we hear an acknowledgement, a wink toward the new path, but ultimately a retreat back into his old ways.Except Nat's usual suave, romantic ballads are nowhere to be heard.Instead, Lonely Hearts oozes lackluster sentiment, with lyrics that are conventional to the point of being soporific. Anything we hear of Cole's iconic piano playing is lost under an overload of unnecessary accompaniments; most notably the too-frequent background vocals and the occasional incongruous guitar picking.

Simply put: an opportunity to progress was missed here. A turning point was ignored. And the quality of this album suffered because of it.

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