on July 15, 2003
This remastered/expanded Lionel Richie debut album is an absolute gem. Glad that an early version of Endless Love is included, the same for the instrumental version of You Are (which is still my favourite on the album). There is a rumour that Kenny Rogers' version of Lady (written by Lionel) was also recorded for this album, but never included in the final stages. I like the new 'sound' much better than the original CD-version. I like the 2 bonus tracks a lot; they add a lot to the whole feel of the album. I think Serves You Right and Tell Me sounded much better that before and My Love (duet with Kenny Rogers) is simply outstanding quality... My favourite L.R.-album
on June 20, 2004
In 1981, Lionel Richie had just left the Commodores, and would go on to be a huge solo artist for most of the decade. All three of his albums of that era are nothing short of great, but they're all a little different. This is the most funk sounding of them all, yet interestingly, also probably the "softest" -- likely because pop love songs were huge in the early 80's.
1. Serves You Right -- Pop/funk tune which is the closest sounding on the album to an old-fashioned Commodores song.
2. Wandering Stranger -- The first of the slow ballads begins here, also sounding a bit like his old band. Piano based and pretty love song, it's okay, but I prefer Lionel's melodic ballads that he'd do more of later (i.e. "Stuck On You").
3. Tell Me -- Another uptempo pop tune that wasn't a hit and sounds like it could've come from a few years earlier. Though the subject isn't exactly uncommon (deciding whether or not to stay with his girl, wanting her to 'tell him' is she loves him) it's a great underrated effort.
4. My Love -- Tuneful, slightly uptempo love song that sounds more like an 80's pop ballad. Minor hit that deserved all the airplay it got.
5. Round and Round -- Funky mid tempo pop song about being happy in love. It wasn't a hit but is good enough to have been.
6. Truly -- Quiet and slow 'devoted in love' song that went on to become a huge hit. Though it does veer towards sappy, it's pretty and pop enough to be listenable, but I prefer "My Love" over this.
7. You Are -- The true gem of the album. Another semi hit that is a great 80's sounding melodic pop/rock/dance tune. No matter what kind of music you like, you'd have to be a dork not to love this happy, singalong song.
8. You Mean More to Me -- The piano balladry is back. This is a good but not great ballad, again sounding like the Commodores.
9. Just Put Some Love in Your Heart -- Quiet ballad that is touching but very short and a little too sappy.
Overall, this is a pretty good album. "Can't Slow Down" will always be my favorite, but this isn't far behind. I think it could've benefitted from another couple upbeat tunes (5 out of 9 songs are ballads, many of which are very slow and soft). I'd recommend this if you like pop-based soul or 80's music. However, I think this has an 'across the board' appeal. I like it, and I'm usually more into rock, especially from the same era (i.e. Journey, Def Leppard, Eddie Money).