Lionel Richie

Album Title: Just For You
Release Date: June 2004
Genre: Pop
Easy as Sunday morning and as comforting as a mug of hot chocolate is the voice of Lionel Richie, who returned to radio with the title track of this new album, "Just For You." He wrote the song in collaboration with producers Paul Barry and Mark Taylor of Metrophonic Productions, most famous for their work on Cher's landmark "Believe" album.

The collaboration with the Metro boys is a perfect fit, giving Richie's trademark smooth vocals a contemporary sound which works especially well on the title track and the ballad "I Still Believe." The Metro team co-wrote and produced half the album. Their other tracks are "Just To Be With You Again," "One World" and the funky "Outrageous."

Other collaborations include a duet with Daniel Bedingfield on the uptempo "Do Ya." And Lenny Kravitz joins Richie on the old school-styled ballad "Time Of Our Life," which they wrote together. The album also has a retro flavor on "Heaven" and "She's Amazing," which are reminiscent of the Commodore days of the 1970's.

Overall the CD achieves a wonderful balance by including the sweet ballads we expect from Richie along with new sounds injected by the Metro boys, collaborations with younger artists, some uptempo tunes and a bit of retro as well.

Richie is an experienced showman and knows his audience well through decades of touring. He knows what his fans want and he delivers. Flawlessly. Seeing him perform live is a revelation. He sits behind his piano and effortlessly cranks out his many hits without breaking a sweat. He's so comfortable with his material and audience it seems he was born on stage. He really is that cool!

This album won't sway many cynics of his easy-listening style. But believers will fall on their knees. He has never sounded better and is at the top of his game. His maturity shows, proving that older can be better.

Writer: Dominic Darrah

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