Wednesday, September 03, 2008
Stevie Wonder - Songs In The Key Of LIfe
Stevie Wonder, "Love's In Need Of Love Today" (YSI link)
Stevie Wonder, "Village Ghetto Land" (YSI link)
Stevie Wonder, "As" (YSI link)
Okay, things are almost back to normal. In the past few weeks, we have had our computer stolen, our phone broke and our wireless went out for a few days. Despite all of that, I feel pretty damn great and ready to get back into the thick of things here. We've got a new sick computer, we're rocking an iPod and listening to more music than we have in months and John McCain made the worst VP pick in history. Not bad, not bad at all. We aren't going to ease our way back in either; we're going right into the deep end this week, reminding everyone of what this blog is all about and why it's the best around.
We're starting with one of those Do Not Pass Go, Do Not Collect $200 albums, stone-cold essentials, a "you need this in your life or your life is unfufilled" jawns. Stevie Wonder's Songs In The Key Of Life. I've spent the past week listening to this one on repeat, feel like I've kinda lost Stevie in the waves of singles and new shit and digging. I forgot how utterly perfect this entire LP is, more than three decades later. Normally I save this for the end, but you need to buy this album ASAP. You just bought it? Good. Let's continue.
I've been trying to put my finger on what makes this one so great, beyond the fact that there's lots of great songs. The best I've come up with is that this is as human a work as there's ever been, timeless stuff that deals with life in all of its glory and hardship. He sings of love, sadness, politics, anger, you name it. I'm not the type to drone on about how they don't do it like they used to, but I'm not sure there are any popular artists today who would be willing to be this open and honest with their audience. Or maybe it's the fact that Wonder, even at his most exuberant, doesn't seem far away from remembering the dark places, the parts of the world and himself that hurt. One of his song titles sums it up perfectly: Joy Inside My Tears. I guess that's always been the key for me with non-dance music, that darkness-tinged perspective. Or maybe I just love the fact that the man talks about love and happiness so openly and unabashedly, as this is all I want to hear right now.
It's a sprawling, a 21-song, two-disc masterpiece and I cannot recommend it more highly. It was hard to choose songs to put up, as they are all good. This should be a good taste of what you can expect, including the bonus CD track "Saturn" that is totally cosmic. I truly believe that Stevie can make your life better and there's absolutely no reason to delay these changes. Buy the album now, thank me later. If you already have it, you know what to do. Spend today listening to this one and let the magic fill you all over again. Yeah!