The Singer: There is little else to add to the legend of Lionel. The mustachioed maestro has sold over 100 million records, written more substantive pop and R&B hits than most of his peers, and laughed all the way to the bank on the back of his sappy reputation.
The Song: “My Love” comes from Richie’s self-titled debut album, released in 1982 after Richie split from the Commodores. You can still here the traces of his old band in the shuffling piano chords in this song, which echo the classic “Easy” (as in, “easy like Sunday morning”). For a guy who made his millions writing love songs, this is one of his more direct and gentle songs of devotion. I quibble with the repetition of the emphatic “just” in the chorus (“Just thinking about you, baby, just blows my mind”), but true love knows no syntax.
The Video: Another slow jam, another low-lit video clip. While the video for “My Love” doesn’t have the cinematic arc of “Hello” or the special-effects wizardry of “Dancing on the Ceiling,” the bare-bones clip matches the simplicity of the song. On the plus side, this video manages to keep a penumbral glow around Lionel’s mighty afro at all times – it’s like Jesus’ own halo hovering above his blessed head.
Hipster Cachet: Lionel Richie is as a good a litmus test as any to gauge your level of hipsterdom. You either a) hate his guts, b) enjoy his songs with a healthy dose of irony, or c) swoon every time you hear “Endless Love” on the radio. Your call, Paco.
-- Christian Schaeffer
[Ed. Note: Here's a bitching Lionel video that can be embedded, after the jump.]
ALL TOGETHER NOW!