Don't know if you heard the news or not, but yesterday Punxsutawney Phyllis (an emortional vampire friend of mine) did not see her reflection in a mirror. You know what this means don't you? Yes. 6 more months of Metamorpho's reviews! And I just know there will be great celebration today because of it. What? You say the celebration will be for the Super Bowl? Parties etc.? Ohno- you must be mistaken. It's for me - I'm sure it is. ;)
That said, I am reviewing this Lionel Ritchie c.d. "Can't Slow Down" was a stand-out in the 80's. In a season with one hit wonders and safety pants (or was that dance?), this selection is a refreshing breeze. Some people may consider this too middle of the road. However, there are real reasons for it's success, which I will tell you because you asked nicely.
Certainly the smart videos he produced for MTV were a big part of it. Classy and well done. By the time this music had arrived, he was well-known as a considerable artist, given that he was with the Commodores and had also put out a previous solo album (also quite excellent). His songwriting was crisp, smooth, easy on the ear and he was also a lyrical master of the love ode. Earnest, heartfelt; alot of these songs wrap you in a comfort that is hard to qualify. But, it's there. One listen and you'll feel it too.
There is a nice mix here. There are beautiful, hook-filled ballads ("Penny Lover","Stuck On You" "Hello"), which play like pure velvet on the ears. An easy groove like "Love Will Find a Way" and harder groove like "Can't Slow Down". Lionel also possesses the creativity to write a calypso-flavored party classic "All Night Long", to the surprise of no one.
One of my favorites, "Running With the Night" employs a pop-rock chug a-long with smokin' silken guitar lead. In all honesty, he hits upon something for everyone here and the effort is flawless. Oh, I can hear the complaints now - the music is too studio polished, the music is too saccharin, Lionel sold out. I don't go along with any of it. He assembled top notch musicians here and paid alot of attention to his craft with great care. It shows. That is why it was a shining light back then and, I think, is so today.
In closing, this is a fine, easy listening selection to play when someone like Sondra the Seeress comes to visit your astute Metamorpho. Music in the background-- me with brandy - she with chardonnay - the lovelight twinkle in both our eyes. Ahhhhhhhhhh..........
Let the music play on, play on, play on....... Metamorpho ;)