Milli Vanilli? Tweedledum and Tweedledee is more like it.
The duo of Rob Pilatus and Fab Morvan are a pair of interchangeable, lanky black men with sternum-length braided hair, whose personal history is the most interesting aspect of Milli Vanilli. Morvan was born on Haiti and raised in Paris. Pilatus was born in New York City but was adopted as an infant by a German couple and raised in Munich. The two met at a club in Los Angeles, recorded in Germany and are now based in London. All that globetrotting may make for an exotic passport, but it doesn't make their music any better. The title track, a big international hit, has a catchy, limber little groove. After that, the album is a dog-and-pony parade of desiccated dance tunes. The big beats can't disguise the fact that the melodies are boringly simplistic. Even on "More Than You'll Ever Know," when they are most successful at ripping off the hip-hop sound of Full Force, the duo is still empty and mechanical at the core. Their rap ballads, such as "I'm Gonna Miss You," are completely soporific. The pair is most listenable on a cover of the Isley Brothers' "It's Your Thing." That sensational song is almost impossible to ruin, though Lord knows Milli Vanilli tries. (Arista)