Music » CD Reviews

CD Review: Lionel Richie

Just Go (Island/ Def Jam)

comment

In a pop culture where demeaning, over-sexualized images of women are often the norm, Lionel Richie's world is an inviting one. Unabashedly sensitive, Richie's tunes are populated by flesh-and-blood women who are treated with goddess-like reverence. On Just Go, Richie teams up with a variety of producers: Christopher "Tricky" Stewart (Mariah Carey, Usher), Stargate (Ne-Yo, Rihanna) and Akon. The result is a more processed, chillier sound — both vocally and musically. Richie's trademark catchy melodies and smooth, easygoing charm, though, are very much intact. So are the straightforward lyrics. On the breezy Stargate cut "Pastime," Richie plaintively croons, "It would make me cry not to have you in my life/How could I go on breathing when you're the air that I'm needing." The Akon-produced title track finds Richie playing the part of a standup guy who only wants to whisk his girlfriend away to the Bahamas or, at the least, "prepare your meal and make your bed." Whether he's singing about the joy of finding the perfect woman ("Good Morning," "I'm in Love") or issuing a soggy plea for her return ("Through My Eyes"), Richie's songs exude an easy, laid-back cool. Even his party anthem "Nothing Left to Give" is more soothing than rousing. Every track on Just Go is a potential hit single; most of these songs are a good cut above average Top 40 fare and a solid affirmation of Richie's continued strength as master of the romantic song. Tierney Smith

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected].

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club


Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.


Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.


Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.