Okay This Really Pisses Me Off to No End
To all the lazy-ass music writers who mischaracterize Stevie Wonder's career as being split between his "funk" period of the 1970s and his "pop" period of the 1980s and 1990s: STOP IT YOU ARE LYING, OR STUPID. Stevie always
had sappy ballad stuff, even on the dynamic duo of Innervisions
and Talking Book
. Yes he did, listen to them sometime. Hell, he even had a couple on my all-time favorite Stevie record, Music of My Mind
. (Okay, it's not my favorite, Songs in the Key of Life
is my favorite, but MoMM
is a "better" album.) And Stevie busted out with a couple of really hard heavy funk songs in the last 20 years, but no one noticed except I guess me.
Here's the thing with Stevie: he's a soft-hearted guy, and he doesn't care about hiding it, and it doesn't matter. As he says on the new record, A Time to Love
, he CHOOSES to be positive because he knows the world is full of shit and he knows he can restore some happiness to it. Okay that's a paraphrase but still. He's always been a Manicheist, the light and the dark, hitting us with the chamber-synth formalism while narrating the harsh conditions of "Village Ghetto Land," setting romantic lyrics to the saddest music ever and vice versa, I could go on but I won't because I'm hoping to get paid for reviewing this new album, because it's really damned good and I want people to know about it, plus I want my $10.54 investment to actually pay off for once.
All I'm saying is, saying that STEVIE FRICKIN' WONDER was once just a funk merchant who sold out to do lite R & B is a damned lie. Sure, he fell off after (AFTER NOT BEFORE, Journey Through the Secret Life of Plants
is a beautiful record) Hotter Than July
, but not the way it's being portrayed. Stevie's heart never changed. Y'all just stopped listening. For shame.