Bruce Willis

The Return of Bruno

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At the height of Moonlighting mania and after the Seagram's wine cooler commercials showcased his vocal skills, Motown asked Bruce Willis to record a full album of blues, R&B, and soul -- hence, The Return of Bruno. Willis has more vocal talent than, say, Cybill Shepherd, but he doesn't quite have the conviction or skill of the Blues Brothers. Often, it's difficult to hear him strain for notes on familiar items like "Under the Boardwalk," "Young Blood," and "Respect Yourself," but that same limited talent makes the ready-made originals "Jackpot," "Down in Hollywood," and "Flirting with Disaster" appealing kitsch. And, really, The Return of Bruno isn't anything more than a kitsch artifact -- Willis may deeply believe he has vocal talent, but the album stands more as a testament to the excesses of Reagan-era celebrity and baby-boomer nostalgia than as a piece of music.

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