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June 2003

Frank Stallone
In Love in Vain
Simba

As derivative singers go, there's absolutely nothing wrong with Frank Stallone-yes, that Frank Stallone. Intent on recapturing the ring-a-ding-ding bravado of a bygone era, Stallone has obviously listened very, very carefully to everything Sinatra, Bobby Darin and Jack Jones recorded between the mid-'50s and mid-'60s. Having memorized the boys' every phrase and inflection, he fills In Love In Vain (Simba) with crisp, clean replicas, adding a barely perceptible dash of big brother Sly's dem-and-dose pugnaciousness. Yet precise as Stallone's duplicates of "Witchcraft," "Beyond the Sea" and "One for My Baby" may be, they remain mere copies, lacking any attempt at ingenuity. Last I checked, the Sinatra, Darin and Jones originals were still widely available. Invest in them instead.

Originally published in June 2003
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