Terri's Cellar Door

Stuff that happens to me, Terri.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Jesus Children of America

So, I was going back and listening through Stevie Wonder's classic period which includes Innervisions and Songs in the Key of Life (which every black parent I've ever known owns in one incarnation or the other), and just thinking about how prolific, inspiring, responsible, creative, and downright swinging they all are. Specifically Songs in the Key of Life, which is , without a doubt, one of the top ten albums of the last fifty years. It's mind boggling the way that Wonder mixes blues, jazz, pop, soul, and in some cases, crazy baroque waltzes to make this amazing album. Wonder was in the studio mixing, remixing and remixing the remixes for a long time before he released it to the public.
It's clear that the album is polished, and produced, but it doesn't sound boxed and it doesn't sound generic. It's everything and anything but. It's more like Mozart or Beethoven was given every piece of equipment in the modern arsenal of music making, and told to go make an album. It's original, uplifting and beautiful all at once, but so crisp, you could bounce a quarter off of it. This is very clearly the work of a musical genius. Innervisions is the same way, with the same soaring ideals, viscious beats and riffs, and lyrics that entertain and educate. I don't care what your race, or musical taste or age or gender is. All of the meaningless things that we use to box ourselves off and partition off our hearts and minds. I would suggest that every person hear some of these tracks and continue to claim that they're just innocent bystanders anymore.


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