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Album review: Heavy metal singers salute Frank Sinatra in 'SIN-ATRA'

March 29, 2011 | 10:49 am

Sin-atra album coverFrank Sinatra may well be spinning in his grave over the heavy metal hijacking of a dozen cornerstone numbers from his repertoire for "Sin-atra," but given the testosterone-drenched machismo that was central to the way he lived his life and sometimes sang, there's actually a certain twisted logic to this shotgun marriage.

In fact, Twisted Sister's Dee Snider sounds utterly credible reminiscing about the heady days of his carefree youth, girls and life in limos in "It Was a Very Good Year," the common house band's distorted guitars and Marshall stacks strafing overhead and the rhythm section thunder rumbling below. Latter-day Judas Priest vocalist Tim "Ripper" Owens is suitably demonic on "Witchcraft," Deep Purple’s Glenn Hughes bellows like there's more at work than just love as he sings "I've Got You Under My Skin" and Anthrax screamer Joey Belladonna inhabits "Strangers in the Night" as a credo of the metal man's hedonistic lifestyle.

Sinatra's swagger, braggadocio and over-the-top emotional climaxes are all here, though the sublime nuance at which he also was so adept apparently was checked at the recording studio door.

The singers benefit from the healthy sense of humor required to even attempt a project as brazen as this. If there are any victims of the whole affair, it may be the composers of these classic tunes: Cole Porter, Cy Coleman, Jimmy Van Heusen, Sammy Cahn, Harold Arlen and other masters of the Great American songbook whose exquisite melodies and lyrics are taken on a rollercoaster ride through the musical underworld.

But hey, as Frank himself might have said, "That's Life."

-- Randy Lewis

Various Artists

"SIN-ATRA"

Armoury Records

Three stars (out of four)

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