Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club. Because No News is Bad News.

CD Review: Lionel Richie 

Just Go (Island/ Def Jam)

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

Cleveland Scene works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Cleveland and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Cleveland's true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

September 9, 2020

View more issues

Most Popular

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


Staff Pick Events

  • Open Turntable Tuesday @ The Winchester

    • Tuesdays

© 2020 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 241-7550
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.

Website powered by Foundation