A long time ago, I blogged (and nobody read, except for my wife) about Stevie Wonder appearing on Sesame Street. After watching that AWESOME video several times, I figured that I'd better check out some more of Mr. Wonder's* music.
I hit the Amazon.com mp3 store and perused their offerings. I downloaded Talking Book, then Innervisions. Then I saw Songs In The Key Of Life. Hmm. I remember my parents had that record, and mom played it occasionally. I put it on my Father's Day gift list, then hit the torrents to see if I could get a *ahem* preview.
Oh My. First of all, mom played this record A LOT. And I know ALL of the songs. And they're all GREAT.
A lot of the music I listened to as a kid was, to be blunt, crap. Some of it stands up -- I still listen to The Grand Illusion every once in a while -- but most of it doesn't. I never really listened to Songs... of my own volition, but I certainly heard it a lot, and it stands up magnificently. Seen through the lens of thirty years, two kids, one wife, four guitars (and zero lessons), this album stands out as one of the best I have ever heard. Yeah. Really.
The songs are widely varied in scope and style, yet all hang together somehow. From the dark political treatise of "Village Ghetto Land" to the lighthearted proto-power-ballad "Knocks Me Off My Feet" to the unbridled funky joy of "Isn't She Lovely", the album explores every facet of life. Stevie covers life's joys and heartaches and manages to find joy nearly everywhere.
All in all, this is an incredibly satisfying work. It speaks to everyone, because (surprise!) we all deal with the same issues as everybody else.
So go listen to it. Go! Shoo!
* Yes, I know his real name is Mr. Morris. But it's fun to say Mr. Wonder! I think maybe people should start calling me that. Just for fun.