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James Darren: This One's From The Heart

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File this one under "Sinatra-lite"— very lite! For readers too young to remember, former teen heart-throb James Darren starred in Gidgit in the late-50s and scored a Top-10 hit in 1961 with Goodbye Cruel World. His career was rejuvenated recently with his portrayal of swingin' lounge singer Vic Fontaine on the TV series, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. This One's From The Heart attempts to cash in on the popularity of this show. While the handsome actor still looks damn good in a tux, Darren adds nothing new to this 17-track collection of classic American standards. His interpretations of songs so closely identified with Mr. Sinatra pale badly by comparison. Frank didn't just sing these tunes ---- he owned them! On a more positive note, Darren is backed by a host of precise studio pros and the arrangements by such "heavyweights" as Marty Paich and Alan Broadbent are predictably competent. Truthfully, why settle for second best when you can always enjoy the real deal? Pointless. **

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