Lionel Richie

Louder Than Words

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After the greatest-hits collection Back to Front disappeared without a trace in 1992, Lionel Richie spent four years making Louder Than Words, his first album for Mercury Records. Although there are some slight attempts to incorporate new jack and hip-hop influences into Richie's sound, Louder Than Words relies on his trademark balladeering, which remains his forte. All of the weak moments on Louder Than Words are ill-advised forays into rap -- to put it bluntly, he can rap about as well as Snoop Dogg can sing. Although the ballads aren't as strong as his late-'70s and early-'80s standards, they are nevertheless pleasant, which makes the record a worthwhile purchase for fans.

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