Stevie Wonder's Songs in the Key of Life

Stevie Wonder's Songs in the Key of Life

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Like all double albums, Songs in the Key of Life is imperfect but audacious. If its titular concern - life - doesn't exactly allow for rigid focus, it's still a fiercely inspired collection of songs and one of the definitive soul records of the 1970s. Stevie Wonder was unable to control the springs of his creativity during that decade. Upon turning 21 in 1971, he freed himself from the Motown contract he'd been saddled with as a child performer, renegotiated the terms, and unleashed hundreds of songs to tape. Over the next five years, Wonder would amass countless recordings and release his five greatest albums - as prolific a golden period as there has ever been in contemporary music. But Songs in the Key of Life is different from the four albums that preceded it; it's an overstuffed, overjoyed, maddeningly ambitiousA‚ encapsulation of all the progressA‚ Stevie Wonder had made in that short space of time. Zeth Lundy'sA‚ book, in keeping with the album's themes, A‚ is structured as a life cycle. It's divided into the following sections: Birth; Innocence/Adolescence; Experience/Adulthood; Death; Rebirth. Within this framework, Zeth Lundy covers Stevie Wonder's excessive work habits and recording methodology, his reliance on synthesizers, the album's place in the gospel-inspired progression of 1970s R'n'B, and many other subjects. A‚As a profession of love, a€œKnocks Me Off My Feeta€ is remarkably cautious. ... so: aquot;I dona#39;t want to bore you with it, a€ Wonder repeats again and again in the chorus, a€œ Oh but I love you, I love you, I love you. ... ita#39;s clothed in grandiosity, the assertive piano chords and regal drum fills a lush transport for the love-struck lines a€œTherea#39;s anbsp;...

Title:Stevie Wonder's Songs in the Key of Life
Author:Zeth Lundy
Publisher:Bloomsbury Publishing USA - 2007-01-15


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