@ the 02
30 September 2008
Click an image to enlarge.
Stevie Wonder's full biography to follow...
I was reluctant, almost fearful to write anything
about this man and his music. This site is a blend of well known
- and probably a few unknown facts and figures about artists and
musicians I love and respect. How do I begin to share the immense
contribution this man has made to the world of music? I will try
and keep it brief, as the Internet is already full of information
about Stevie Wonder and his music. Most of us – young and
‘not so young’ are aware of at least a small portion
of Wonder’s recording catalogue. It is possible that the only
person who has a complete record of his contribution is Mr Wonder
Over the years I have gently dismissed comments from friends and
music journalists who have shrugged off Wonder’s musical contribution
over the past decade. Many people have made comments regarding his
recent albums such as:
“Well- Stevie’s latest album is OK, but it’s
not “Songs In The Key Of Life”,
or “Music Of My Mind!”
My reply to such degrees of comparison is to normally ask –
How would ‘YOU’ improve on the recordings mentioned
above? After all – that was then – and this is now!
Michael Jackson also suffers similar ‘comparison attacks’
regarding his more recent work and “Thriller”.
It has been said that Stevie Wonder became too embroiled –
and tended to over use digital / synthesiser technology. I would
urge all who feel this way to revisit “The Woman In Red”
soundtrack (1984), which contain stunning, delicately blended ballads
featuring Dionne Warwick, or the cleverly fused, uptempo compostion
“Love Light In Flight” from the same album. The “Jungle
Fever” soundtrack (1991) also highlights Wonder’s unique
play on synthesiser technology. Neither of these albums sound strange
or dated when aired today.
One of the many gifts ‘Mr Wonderful’ has to offer is
the gift of inspiration.
I was fortunate to catch his performance of “Positivity”
on a late night chat show recently. I was immediately energised
and started jotting down a few notes on how his music and presence
made me feel. Stevie Wonder has produced a sea of wonderful music
and many award winning masterpieces, over many decades. The great
news is that he is still riding that wave today.
A Time To Love album review
Stevie Wonder’s “A Time To Love” album couldn’t
have arrived on my welcome door mat at a better time. I naturally
become reflective towards the end of every year and the end of November
– beginning of December 2005 was no exception.
As usual - time was not on my side, so I initially settled with
examining the C D artwork, reading the personnel listing and song
‘Mr. Wonderful’ has the power to inspire by his written
words alone. The word ‘GIFTED’ does not nearly describe
this man’s master over lyrical content
“A Time To Love” is a lyrically rich complex piece
of work, with clear messages within its multi-layered compositions.
Just what I would expect from a Stevie Wonder album. Of course there
are high points and mid points in this album, but never any low
points. We all receive messages differently and in turn process
them in our own way. However – Wonder has always been able
to reach many with his messages of love, hope and peace. Somehow
he is still able to approach and capture emotions from unique angles,
the track “Moon Blue” is testament to this. “If
Your Love Cannot Be Moved” carries a million political messages
within it’s lyrical core for those open enough to receive.
It must be an honour for any musician to get a phone call from
Stevie requesting – or accepting collaboration. Wonder must
also be extremely proud to have his daughter (Aisha Morris) sing
Ms Morris features on at least two tracks, providing a beautiful
backdrop for Stevie’s poetic lyrics to… well just flow.
(“How Will I Know”). The ballad “True Love”
with it’s unusual drum backbeat, carries a jazzy / bluesy
slant and possibly gives the listener insight into Wonder’s
I will say no more regarding this album… I want to listen
I suggest you do the same.
© Michael Valentine Studio Ltd.