It's a surprise to learn that this is Richie's fourth studio album since 2000 - despite each of the previous three having sold respectably enough to go Top 10, they weren't particularly noticed by anyone other than the faithful. To anyone else, or at least anyone under 30, he's just Nicole Richie's father, a perception that's unlikely to be shifted by Just Go. It's been produced to the lushest AOR standards by an array of expensive talent, including Stargate and Akon, and finds Richie in reliably smooth voice, ruminating placidly about love.
2006's Coming Home was Lionel Richie's most commercially successful release since 1986's Dancing on the Ceiling. It was the first time since then that one of the singer's albums peaked within the Top Ten of the Billboard 200 and Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums charts. Much of its success could be attributed to "I Call It Love," a collaboration with StarGate.
LIONEL RICHIE“Just Go”(Island Def Jam) Lionel Richie is a one-man service economy through much of “Just Go,” his solicitous new album. He wants to make sure you’re comfortable, fulfilled and secure in his devotion. “I am not okay/Unless you’re okay,” he declares in one ballad, “I’m Not Okay.” On the lightly Caribbean-flavored title track — produced by Akon and now on the Hot Adult Contemporary chart — he sings, “I’m here to take that stress from you.” Then he offers to cook a meal, make the bed and spirit you by sailboat to the Bahamas, where he’ll make good on the promise of a massage.
R&B stars Ne-Yo and Akon, Lionel Richie’s primary collaborators on Just Go, may be top dogs on their own territory, but they don’t have much on the old tricks of the Commodore?turned?1980s solo star. On his ninth studio album, undifferentiated swaths of midtempo digital groove leave one longing for the (relative) analog authenticity of vintage Lionel. And nothing here provokes much dancing on the ceiling, let alone on the rec-room carpet — though the vague drumbeat exotica on ”Nothing Left to Give” gets the closest.