Tuskegee Lionel Ritchie

PUBLISHED : Friday, 04 May, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 04 May, 2012, 12:00am


Music legend Lionel Richie goes country on his latest album Tuskegee, named after his hometown in the American state of Alabama.

The album features 13 of Richie's biggest hits since his 1982 solo debut. The tracks were all written or co-written by Richie, and feature duets with country artists, such as Kenny Chesney, Shania Twain and Willie Nelson.

The album includes Richie's signature song Hello, a No 1 hit from his 1985 Grammy-winning Can't Slow Down. This new version differs from the original, yet is just as moving. When Richie sings the heartfelt phrase, 'Hello, is it me you're looking for?', his powerful, yet soothing voice - accompanied by cello and guitar - will bring tears to your eyes. Joined by country star Jennifer Nettles on vocals, it is a classic reborn.

Say You, Say Me is also redone, with Danish singer-songwriter Rasmus Seebach joining Richie on vocals. Their strong voices soar above the music and its catchy melody.

The iconic track You Are's fresh, joyful acoustic intro precedes sentimental vocals to create a flawless, musical puzzle.

Despite the age of some of the tracks, the new treatment makes Tuskegee sound like a modern country album. Essential listening.