Picks and Pans Review: One Bad Habit
Singing in his tissue-papery tenor, Franks makes Mel Tormé sound by comparison like the Velvet Thunderstorm. Though he is still an interesting jazz composer and performer, he suffers on this LP from coyness. In Baseball, for instance, he uses one national pastime (throwing and hitting) to represent another (kissing and hugging), warbling, "How can I keep control of my nerves/ The way you wind up when you throw me those curves." Franks' melodies are pedestrian, too, and his backup studio group, this time without the customary guest stars, can't do much with them. To quote the I Ching, as Franks does, "Music has power to loosen the grip of obscure emotions." Sorry, Michael. Sorry, Ching. Not this music.