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Stevie Wonder - INNERVISIONS ((Vinyl))
After breaking away from the Motown singles mode, Wonder began creating albums that were visionary in concept, sound, and construction. The greatest of these is 1973's INNERVISIONS (1976's SONG IN THE KEY OF LIFE was also an indisputable masterpiece, yet it lacks the economy and focus of INNERVISIONS). Moving largely away from romantic themes (the beautiful "Golden Lady" is the exception), Wonder tackles the socio-cultural landscape of 1970s America, including drugs, urban life, and crooked politicians, in addition to questions of identity, faith, and idealism.
The album is also more musically ambitious than anything Wonder had attempted before. "Too High," the album's opener, has a buoyant, jazzy feel with a subtly complex interaction between instruments and vocals. "Livin' for the City" is a story-song with a stomping beat, gospel flavor, and a dramatic interlude and outro. The churning "Higher Ground" segues into the fierce, slinky groove of "Jesus Children of America" (complete with burbling Arp and Moog synthesizers). The intensity of these songs is not mitigated by the slower songs, which are equally stirring, but by the exuberant, Latin-esque "Don't You Worry 'Bout A Thing," one of the album's highlights. From beginning to end, INNERVISIONS is a work of genius--a powerful, complex, yet accessible pop masterpiece.
- RSD Release Date: DDD
- Genre: Funk / Soul