While Sven Helbig's Pocket Symphonies is presented by Deutsche Grammophon as a collection of lavishly produced songs in symphonic guise, the style has more in common with adult contemporary or easy listening categories than with classical music. Despite the appearance of Kristjan Järvi, the MDR Leipzig Radio Symphony, and the Fauré Quartet, who bring ample talent and commitment to the proceedings, the album actually consists of lush and occasionally lively instrumentals that no one would mistake for western symphonic music, except for the use of an orchestra.
In 1980 and 1981, many people in the music world suspected that Lionel Richie would soon be leaving the Commodores to pursue a solo career – and sure enough, he officially became a full-time solo artist in 1982. In the Pocket, released in 1981, turned out to be his final album with the group. Not surprisingly, Richie dominates the album, singing lead on everything from adult contemporary ballads like "Lucy" and "Oh No" (a number four pop/number five R&B smash) to the sophisticated funk of "Why You Wanna Try Me" and the Top Five R&B favorite "Lady (You Bring Me Up)." Walter Orange and Thomas McClary also contribute some lead vocals, but the album's best-known songs are the ones that feature Richie.