Lionel Richie

Coming Home

A brief hopeful moment was quickly quashed: Is that Tim Hardin’s ballad on the liner notes? No. This “Reason to Believe” isn’t the one so beautifully covered by Rod Stewart and others. It’s just another piece of frothy pop with a techno-beat (pseudo hip-hop, if there is such a thing). Lionel Richie, of the oh-so-smooth and seductive ’80s ballads—those of us old enough had a mix tape useful for getting laid, and he was on it—attempts a comeback with a bunch of lame, if peppy, songs. I kept waiting for the guy who made the Commodores stand out in a crowd. He never showed. Unlike Loretta Lynn, who invited Jack White to help her find a contemporary groove for her limitless talents, and Neil Diamond, who went down the same road with Rick Rubin, Richie has nothing new to offer here. Move along.