Contact Us

Lionel Richie, ‘Tuskegee’ – Album Review

Tuskegee
Universal Music Group Nashville

Country music fans under 40 are left scratching their heads about all the hype surrounding Lionel Richie‘s courting of Nashville’s greatest artists. First it was a duet with Shania Twain, now a full album of duets called ‘Tuskegee,’ and soon, the topper — a night in his honor after the ACM Awards next week.

It all feels a little bit … random. There’s no getting around Richie’s talent and influence, but it’s difficult to believe that every artist featured on ‘Tuskegee’ grew up listening to hits like ‘Easy,’ ‘Stuck on You’ and ‘Dancing on the Ceiling.’ Though they both grew up in the south, there isn’t a scent of soulful pop on anything Jason Aldean has ever recorded, yet there he is, singing away with conviction on ‘Say You, Say Me.’

It’s worth getting over the question of “Why?” to discover 13 collaborators all at the top of their game alongside Richie. Not every song turns out to be a memorable recreation of the original — Tim McGraw‘s parts on ‘Sail On’ fail to draw distinction — but there are many pleasant surprises. It’s been a decade or more since Willie Nelson sounded as strong as he does on ‘Easy,’ and Darius Rucker, an artist whose enthusiasm rarely disappoints, finds a new level of energy and excitement singing ‘Stuck on You’ alongside Richie.

Kenny Chesney‘s ‘My Love’ and Little Big Town‘s ‘Deep River Woman’ are two more highlights that more than make up for momentum dips like the thick, syrupy ‘Endless Love’ with Shania Twain and ‘All Night Long’ with Jimmy Buffett. The concept of his album is unique, although the execution is at times flawed (Who really sat around thinking, “I wonder what Billy Currington would sound like singing with Lionel Richie?”).

Younger fans willing to take a chance at iTunes will find a great contemporary singer making everyone in the room better. The production is sharp and there are moments it sounds like the everyone is having the time of their lives. It should make an exciting television special — ‘Lionel Richie and Friends – In Concert — although it’s doubtful anyone born after President Reagan was elected will be setting their DVRs.

4 Stars

More From KIXS 108

Best of the Web

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your points and personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account with your Facebook account, just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing profile and VIP program points. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to http://kixs.com using your Facebook account.

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

Register on KIXS FM 108 quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!

Not a Member? Sign Up Here

Register on KIXS FM 108 quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!