Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Pop, R&B
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Scooter McGavin | Ohio | 09/19/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"There is no bigger crime against humanity in rears then Lionel Richie being relegated to being called "Nicole's dad." Here's a guy who brought us Endless Love, Sail On, wrote Lady for Kenny Rogers, taught us how to dance on the ceiling and taught us the proper proportions of the fairer sex (36-24-36, although Sir Mix-A-Lot had to clarify that's only if she's 5'3'' years later). If fact many of you reading this may have Lionel to thank for being conceived, hey even I may have Lionel to thank for that. Mmm, now I have to get that thought out of my mind. But anyways. Thankfully Madison Avenue still holds him in high esteem featuring Hello and All Night Long in commercials recently by Starburst and Mountain Dew, respectively.
In all fairness, it is somewhat easy to forget about Richie since it's been twenty years since his last hit album, Dancing on the Ceiling. And maybe for most of the time in between he was fine with resting on his laurels as his records were album to rack in more money than even his spoiled brat of a daughter could spend. But maybe his daughters new found fame and being called "Nicole's dad" lit a spark under him because Lionel's back with songs that stands up with some of his best work that show up on his new album Coming Home.
Unfortunately, in a cheap attempt to connect to a younger audience Lionel Richie brought it some big name producers to help craft a few songs, and "big name" doesn't necessarily mean good ones. First there's Jermaine Dupri, best know for his work with thirteen year olds, who helped out on What You Are which is fairly boring. I wouldn't be surprised if he had a hand with Up All Night because it sounds exactly like ever Jagged Edge, a group that Dupri discovered, song I've ever heard. Then there's Dallas Austin, most know with his work with TLC, who helmed the ill-conceived Stand Down, a politically charged reggae song. The one marquee producer that manages to properly catch the Richie vibe is Raphael Saadiq of Tony! Toni! Toné! fame on Sweet Vacation where he also provides Babyface style backing vocals. Well there is also the Swedish production team that crafted the first single, I Call it Love. What with the Swedes and their mastery of American pop music?
But where Richie shines is with his own material as there a bunch of songs that have that classic feel to them. The breezy I'm Coming Home could fit easily in Richie's early catalogue and the same goes for Out of My Head. Both songs hearken back to the good old days of R&B when the singers didn't need rappers to gain mass exposure. The soft beginning to Reason to Believe that conjures up thought of to Sail On. Then there's I Love You with its haunting vocals is very reminiscent of Hello, but I doubt it will inspire anyone to make a bust of Lionel's head. But not of Lionel's own songs are comeback worthy, All Around the World sound like an update of All Night Long, but fall flat compared to the earlier song. Coming Home may not save Lionel from being called "Nicole's dad," but at least it reminds those of us who grew up with him in the eighties what made him great back then."
J. Williams | Riverside, CA | 09/17/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Artists don't make impacts any more, you might have one great song, or even a great album. But let time pass, most will be forgotten. Lionel, is in my mind without question, one of the top 5 love ballad singers of all time. He sings about love, very tenderly and without all the nastiness you get now-a-days. The first single "I Call It Love" is a really outstanding track. The production sounds like something Ne'Yo would use (which is because the same producer is behind it) Still, it has that unmistakable Lionel touch. Love, not sex is what the song is about. I can't honestly say the song is anywhere near a "Sail Away" or "Three Times A Lady" But, what it does do almost perfectly is make Lionel a modern performer, without taking him out of his elment by trying to change what he does best. The album has a nice mixture of styles. Lionel never really sounds out of place, there are no "say what??" duets with a Snoop or DMX to try to make him hip. Just good music, songs and great lyrics. Sung by a legend in the business."
Lionel with contemporary appeal
nm | USA | 09/15/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This album is a nice adult contemporary album. Several songs lean towards mature R&B and mature pop and there are also a few songs with an element of soft rock ("Reason to Believe," "I Love You") and reggae/calypso ("Stand Down"). I am a Generation Y-er, so my parents came up during the time Lionel was successful with the Commodores and are more familiar with him than I am, but I am familiar with some of his past work due to old school R&B and soft rock stations. I think this is a solid album that can fit in with today's music without straying too far from his old style of music. Perhaps it might not be very inventive compared to his older stuff, but looking at it from the view of the whole album, it is very listenable, and compared to today's music it sounds nice to me. There was only one song I didn't really care for too much. And I don't feel there are any songs that are as fun and upbeat like "All Night Long." But I feel this album is a great effort. I hope this album does well enough to bring him back up on the charts and in the spotlight."