Jettisoning not only the funk-metal rhythms of their earlier work but also long-time guitar hero and wacky eyewear model James B Martin, King For A Day… Fool For A Lifetime for the most part pursued a more back-to-basics garage sound that slotted in with the post-grunge environment of 1995. The album holds up well today, with Mike Patton achieving new heights of visceral howling on the likes of Cuckoo For Caca, but among the bonus tracks there's little to get excited about other than the tragic-comedy Bee Gees cover - I Started A Joke.
The Best of Nat King Cole is part of EMI-Capitol Special Markets' Ten Best Series, where they selected ten hits from a popular artist on their roster. For the budget-minded, it's a nice collection of Nat King Cole's best-known hits, like "Unforgettable," "Ramblin' Rose," "Mona Lisa," "Walkin' My Baby Back Home" and "(I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons." It certainly won't please either jazz purists or Cole collectors, but the budget-conscious looking for an affordable (albeit skimpy) sampler of well-known Cole should turn here.
Easily the longest of any Capitol single-disc compilation, 2005's The World of Nat King Cole also benefits from a fresh remastering of its material to make it the best introduction to the interpretive brilliance of Nat King Cole. Nearly all the hits that need to be here are indeed present: "Straighten Up and Fly Right," "Route 66," "Nature Boy," "Too Young," and "Mona Lisa." The compilers also wisely chose a few representative songs to replace some of the middling hits; the only surprise is the absence of "The Christmas Song" and "Lush Life," although the chart hits – "Answer Me, My Love," "Pretend," "Looking Back"…
Favorite Ballads is an entertaining collection of lush, romantic ballads Nat King Cole recorded for Capitol Records. It's not designed to be a comprehensive compilation for collectors. Instead, it's a nice sampler. Latter-day fans may be dismayed that "Unforgettable" is missing, but such songs as "The Very Thought of You," "Just One of Those Things," "Stardust," "These Foolish Things," "Tenderly," "I Should Care," and "You're My Thrill" make this a very pleasant listen.