Single Review: Lionel Richie featuring Shania Twain, “Endless Love”

Lionel Richie’s new country duets project, set for a March 27 release, sounds like the kind of thing that could either go very right (Jennifer Nettles, “Hello”) or very wrong (Rascal Flatts “Dancing On the Ceiling,” anyone?).  We get a taste of the new project with this re-working of Richie’s classic pop duet with Diana Ross, “Endless Love,” sung this time as a duet with Shania Twain.

First, the bad news:  It’s too long.  The first three minutes sound lovely, but the song reaches an overdramatic climax that goes on longer than it should.  Also, the pop-flavored backbeat sounds a bit gaudy – You get over it after a few listens, but the single would be better without it.  Still, the biggest problem is swelling production that attempts to lend drama to the performance, but instead beats the listener over the head with needless distraction.  The production problems are mostly confined to the final minute of the song, but they still lessen the song’s impact instead of adding to it.

Now the good news:  Though filling the shoes of Diana Ross is certainly no easy task, Twain acquits herself more than adequately.  Richie for his part still sounds great, but ultimately the star is Twain.  Twain’s performance is colored with a deep sense of longing, recalling the finest love ballads of her own hitmaking heyday, such as “Forever and For Always,” with the two voices melding together beautifully on the harmonies.

The song had so much going in its favor.  It’s extremely irritating that it’s bogged down by production that gets so stupidly loud and over-the-top.  It would have been better if the production had stayed completely out of the way, and given the two vocalists more room to sell the song with their fanstastic performances.  Overall, this is still an enjoyable duet, but considering they spend the latter part of the song just shouting to be heard, it does fall a degree short of reaching its full potential.

Written by Lionel Richie

Grade:  B-

Listen:  Endless Love

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4 Comments

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4 Responses to Single Review: Lionel Richie featuring Shania Twain, “Endless Love”

  1. JoshNo Gravatar

    I think the song is great Shania showed off a talent that was hidden (thanks to mutt)of hitting high notes and she sounds great i hope this means more music from her is on the way!

  2. KarlyNo Gravatar

    I know I’m gonna get flack for this, but was there any need to bash Rascal Flatts in this review? “Dancing On The Ceiling” IS a cheesy song; just because Rascal Flatts are singing it. Moreover, you haven’t even heard the song yet….Oye.

    In other news, Twain is overrated.

  3. Twain is overrated.

    How so, Karly?

  4. KarlyNo Gravatar

    Twain is overrated.

    How so, Karly?

    I’ve never understood what’s so special about her, that’s all. Most of her songs are just fluffy pop tunes that sound great on the radio. She may be a great performer, but to me if you don’t record great songs that’s meaningless. I don’t hear anything substantial in her music, and that’s largely why I think she’s overrated. I just don’t buy the idea that she’s a legendary artist simply because she sold a ton of albums/concert tickets in her prime and people love her catchy songs.

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