Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Stevie Wonder - Hotter Than July (1980)

If you're anything like me, you regularly worship at the genius altar of Stevie Wonder's early 70s output. And if you're not doing that, you need to leave because I don't even like you. Walk away from the computer and stab your eardrums with a pencil because you fucked up. Since everyone still reading already has all of those records, I'm posting up Hotter Than July which falls outside of the Wonder canon, but is still obviously the work of a complete godhead genius.

Definitely fewer ii-V-I's than in the past, as the feel of this record is a bit less jazzy and a bit more all over the place. Stevie's forays into Reggae and disco-tinged sounds aren't gimmicky or po-mo or anything annoying like that. This shouldn't be surprising, given the plethora of hits Stevie wrote for other artists of varying styles.

You know if I were a normal person, I would say something like "the vocal performances on this record make me want to drink acid and never sing again!" Instead, they make me get really competitive with Stevie Wonder and say to myself "if Stevie Wonder can do this, why can't I?" This is an insane pipe dream, but I am just trying to be honest.

Also, notice the nod to "Rocket Love" in GZA's "Cold World." Wu-Tang Clan: men of impeccable taste.


thesunchild said...

Your post has inspired me to gobble up all the Stevie Wonder I can find.

Some friends and I have argued about this many times: Last minute of "I Just Called to Say I Love You" - most effective or least effective key changes of all time?

Todd said...

Definitely not the most effective key change, as that belongs to "that Free Willy song" by RIP MJ:

Joaquín said...

You wanna talk key changes, listen to "Summer Soft" on Songs in the Key of Life. There are five of them! Realest shit ever.

Todd said...

I've tried to count the number of key changes in "I will be there" but I keep getting distracted by other innernet activities. Maybe three?