By Leah Greenblatt
May 13, 2009 at 04:00 AM EDT

R&B stars Ne-Yo and Akon, Lionel Richie’s primary collaborators on Just Go, may be top dogs on their own territory, but they don’t have much on the old tricks of the Commodore?turned?1980s solo star. On his ninth studio album, undifferentiated swaths of midtempo digital groove leave one longing for the (relative) analog authenticity of vintage Lionel. And nothing here provokes much dancing on the ceiling, let alone on the rec-room carpet — though the vague drumbeat exotica on ”Nothing Left to Give” gets the closest. C+

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