Raymond Fiore
June 06, 2003 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Newcomer Frankie J is clearly gunning for superslick R&B balladry as his ticket to success. Case in point: First single ”Don’t Wanna Try” is a melodramatic reincarnation of an ’80s Quiet Storm gem — destined to be the summer breakup song with the middle-school set. However, it’s the lone triumph on an otherwise dull debut. He spoils his chances of being a contender by approximating the faux sincerity of O-Town, mimicking the syncopated cadences of Destiny’s Child circa 1999, and making Ashanti look like a poet laureate.

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