When it comes to music that your parents love, Lionel Richie is a cornerstone of classic pop crooners. After forty years in the business, is there anything that the singer hasn't achieved? Well, there is one quite important feature missing from the former Motown artist's career these days, actuall. What he hasn't done - perhaps deliberately - is reinvent himself with a hit featuring a hot new rapper, or the latest pop vixen on the scene. Consequently, he's failed to make himself relevant to a younger crowd (apart from those who'll drunkenly croon 'Hello' in kebab joints at 3am on a Sunday morning, that is).
Until now, that is. 'Just Go' sees the 59-year-old Richie team up with Akon for two tracks here, and it goes without saying that they're the worst two on the album. Akon, an 'artist' who's achieved enormous success for simply knowing his way around an AutoTune program, is music's anti-King Midas: everything he touches turns to ordure. 'Just Go''s cod-Caribbean melody and tinny beat are plain embarrassing, as is the ''80s pool party' vibe of 'Nothing Left to Give', and are simply songs below an singer of Richie's stature.
That misdemeanour aside, this album is tolerably unremarkable. There are brief moments of interest (mainly 'Forever' and 'Into You Deep'), but these fourteen tracks are chiefly smooth, rhythm 'n' pop numbers with generic keyboard riffs and empty sentiments - although Richie's voice still sounds surprisingly full-bodied and resonant in places.
He's not exactly at the cutting-edge of pop music, nor is he teaching the young 'uns a thing or two - but the Lionel Richie gravy train still shows no signs of stopping.