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Ladies and Gentlemen: The Whitest Man Alive (trash and treasure from the KZSC library #4)

This is painful. I will just start this article by saying that I can’t make any excuses for what I am about to present to you. Bruce Willis as you’ve never seen him before. This is going to drag you kicking and screaming back to the worst parts of the 80’s or, if you weren’t alive then, show off what you didn’t miss.

Look at me. I’m slightly repulsed just being photographed with it. Apparently, there was a time when Bruce here got his own HBO special about his alter ego, Bruno. Bruno is, apparently, the greatest blues/R&B/Swing/Funk man ever, which may explain the star-studded album.

I barely even listen to most of the music that Bruce is pulling from here, but even I recognize legends when I see them. Ry Cooder, The Pointer Sisters, Allan Toussaint, and Booker T. all make appearances or contributions of some form or another, and the record itself was released on Motown. Actually, this barely seems like Bruce’s thing at all. Except for his face on the cover and his voice over the jams, only a single writing credit on the album goes to Bruce.

So, how on earth did this happen? Did Bruce just put all his Die Hard money into trying to be cool and black? Is he an appropriating honkey? Just a die hard fan of black music in general? Did the intense but short-lived popularity of New Jack Swing put him in some sort of album-producing fugue state?  The world may never know.

Overall, the album is okay. There’s too much talent involved for it not to be at least listenable. The goofball Bruce, with his underwhelming rendition of Secret Agent Man, odd number about being a waiter, and a simply mangled cover of Respect Yourself, will certainly leave you entertained if nothing else. If you’re so inclined as to seek it out, it’s going for $0.99 on Discogs.

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