Stevie Wonder - Music Of My Mind
Label: Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab
Format: Vinyl, LP
Special Limited Edition No. 001905
Genre: Funk / Soul
Style: Soul, Funk
A1 Love Having You Around (7:21)
A2 Superwoman (8:04)
A3 I Love Every Little Thing About You (3:46)
A4 Sweet Little Girl (4:54)
B1 Happier Than The Morning Sun (5:18)
B2 Girl Blue (3:35)
B3 Seems So Long (4:27)
B4 Keep On Running (6:35)
B5 Evil (3:35)
On this early-1972 effort, Stevie is pretty much a one-man band (as said in the liner notes): with the exception of a guitar solo in one track, and a trombone solo in another track, Stevie plays all of the instruments; drums, clavinet, bass, organ, piano, harmonica, clavichord, synthesizers -- he does it all, and what's also astonishing is how adept he is at assembling these instruments to create works so beautiful, moving and captivating. Oh, and he also does most of the producing as well.
Stevie Wonder has been called a genius for many years now, and I seriously find it hard to disagree with this. The man is simply amazing, and his talent is nothing short of awe-inspiring. Brilliant songwriter, lyricist, musician and person in general, he deserves every single accolade he receives, and then some.
On this early-1972 effort, Stevie is pretty much a one-man band (as said in the liner notes): with the exception of a guitar solo in one track, and a trombone solo in another track, Stevie plays *all* of the instruments; drums, clavinet, bass, organ, piano, harmonica, clavichord, synthesizers -- he does it all, and what's also astonishing is how adept he is at assembling these instruments to create works so beautiful, moving and captivating. Oh, and he also does most of the producing as well.
Some of my favorites from this album:
"Love Having You Around" is a song possibly written for Stevie's wife at the time. A steady groove is punctuated by various synthesizer textures and vocal effects which lead to a triumphant (although brief) chorus. The track is over seven minutes long, but it never drags, and seems like it ends all too quickly, since it's as engrossing as it is.
"Superwoman" is pretty much divided into two distinct halves. The first half is comprised of the most beautiful, intimate R&B to be heard. The brilliant jazzy chords and progressions maximize the dreamy, floating feel, and Stevie's breathy vocals are the guide to this ethereal, yet earthy masterpiece; it's the equivalent of a reflective Summer day, with a cool, gentle breeze for good measure. Almost equal to that of the dreamy artwork. The second half is a post-psychedelic, trippy, yet atmospheric smorgasbord of synthesizer-drenched chords, impassioned vocals and some guitar solos. Excellent stuff, here.
"I Love Every Little Thing About You" is a well written, well sung, song that fits perfectly after "Superwomen" definatly an underrated track..
"Sweet Little Girl" is one of Stevie's pleasantly goofy character impersonation-filled tracks. On the verses, Stevie sings in his natural, beautiful voice, which is backed by a funky soundscape of the clavinet, bass, drums, and some harmonica. Then, on the chorus (if it's technically a chorus), the tempo changes, and he goes into this goofy, drawl-filled dialogue about how his girl treats him bad. It's hilarious as all hell.
"Happier Than The Morning Sun" is Stevie on the clavinet (or the clavichord, or synthesizer), and produces a song which is almost Paul McCartneyesque in it's melodicism. A beautiful song, and Stevie's vocals are sweet and pleasantly sugary. The keys that Stevie is using seems to mimic arpeggiated guitar chords.
"Keep On Running" is jittery, rapid-fire funk, and in some ways, it's ominous; as if we feel and sense that something in the shadows is about to jump out and grab us, as the lyrics suggest. The pulsating rhythm which embeds the melody is utterly foreboding, and Stevie's vocals sound slightly hazy, but not lacking the passion that is always present. But, in the least, this fast thing will get that old rump of yours shaking.
"Evil" is the most heart-wrenching track on the album. It's one of the earliest examples in regard to Stevie's socially-conscious musings; here, he talks about the evils of life (e.g. hatred, poverty.) It's a dramatic track, in which things start off low-key, only to escalate in atmosphere and dynamics as time progresses. The keys and synthesizers plow along, eventually reaching powerful orchestral crescendos and choir-like effects, and all along, Stevie's vocals get more intense, dramatic and emotive. All of this breaks me down everytime I hear the track; the passion in the guy's voice, alone, is enough to send one to tears.
There really isn't much more that I can say. Stevie's a genius, and his music is recommended to anyone who is willing to be moved by greatness, regardless of musical preference. You will probably want to own this, and everything up to 1976's _Songs In The Key of Life_, as it represents the best of Stevie Wonder. This album in particular will hold a special place in the hearts of many, due to it's unique, intimate charm.
Stevie Wonder - Love Having You Around (Music Of My Mind)
oh, man. this is so smokin'
Stevie Wonder - Superwoman
This is absolutely beautiful...
Stevie Wonder - Evil
Stevie Wonder - I Love Every Little Thing About You
Stevie Wonder - Happier Than The Morning Sun