The second of Bear Family Records four-box survey of Doris Day's music is not quite as strong or interesting as its predecessor, which is not to say that it doesn't have some great moments, in jazz as well as pop. The 1951 vintage material here is not too far removed from the sophisticated pop and vocal jazz that Day was doing in the late '40s -- indeed, listening to this set's first CD, one realizes that it could easily have been folded into the preceding It's Magic box. But before long, Columbia Records seems to have directed her into a more mainstream pop approach and repertory, and while Day's style is almost always intriguing enough to justify giving her a lesson, she simply isn't pushing very hard the way she seemed to be on her earlier sides. There are also various duets amid the nearly six hours of music here, with Frankie Laine, Donald O'Connor, Danny Thomas, and Johnnie Ray, of which the latter are the most satisfying, although all display some measure of charm. Still, the sad truth is that generally, as the early '50s wound into the mid-'50s, Day's output became less inventive and ambitious. The big exception, fortunately for owners of this set, comes on disc five, which is given over to the recordings that she made in connection with the movie Love Me or Leave Me, in which she performs the repertory associated with singer Ruth Etting -- this is as good as it was going to get for Day at this point in her career, almost the equivalent for her of what Blue Rose (which was done at just about the same time, curiously enough) was for her Columbia Records labelmate Rosemary Clooney. These songs recall the hot Doris Day of the prior decade, and shake the entire set out of its cutesy pop doldrums. The sound, as one would expect, is superb, and the annotation is extremely thorough, with a full sessionography contained within a very handsome LP-size hardcover book that is profusely illustrated.