As long as there are record companies and recording studios and over-reaching actors, the concept of the celebrity album will, alas, never die. Last year saw a dance album by The Jeffersons’ Sherman Hemsley. Now comes the debut of Blossom star Joey Lawrence, an album of standards by Kathie Lee Gifford (out next month), and, of course, Eddie Murphy’s Love’s Alright (Motown), his latest attempt to show he can do more than make movies that recycle the title character of Beverly Hills Cop.
As on his previous albums, though, something odd happens to Murphy when he opens his mouth to sing: The ingratiating wiseass becomes a wimp, any and all trace of personality instantly eradicated. Murphy’s most indulgent record yet, Love’s Alright features malnourished clones of Prince ballads, ersatz psychedelia, and more sappy love songs than a Julio Iglesias album. He wastes a bevy of star-buddy cameos (from Michael Jackson to Garth Brooks) for ”Yeah,” which consists of all involved repeating that phrase to music that elevators would shut their doors on. It makes us eagerly await the Simpsons’ in-progress The Yellow Album, featuring a duet by Homer and Linda Ronstadt on ”Funny How Time Slips Away.”