Frankie & the Fashions

Not the Usual Doo Wop

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Frankie & the Fashions are a Philadelphia-based doo wop group led by Frank Lafaro, who bills himself as "the Frank Sinatra of Doo Wop." The group sticks pretty close to the classic doo wop template, and at their best they manage to re-create the golden era of the genre, with original songs like "Cinderella Baby" sounding like something you might have heard years ago, while their covers (like the version of Stephen Stills' "Marianne" found here) can be inspired re-arrangements. The down side is that the weaker songs seem to be rote exercises in a form that suffers from cliché and a serious case of arrested development. Committed doo wop buffs will find a lot to like here, but more casual listeners may want to start with the group's 1997 outing called Philadelphia, which seems to have more freshness and vitality.

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