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4.3 out of 5 stars
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on July 6, 2017
un classique
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on March 21, 2017
GREAT songs
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on May 17, 2017
This album is probably his best, been wanting to get it for years but always put it off. I'm glad I finally purchased it!
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on December 24, 2001
I'm a big Stevie Wonder fan because he is the master of melody, but I have to admit that "S.I.T.K.O.L." isn't very enthralling. Only one or two other reviewers had the same standpoint. I don't see why everyone keeps giving it 5 stars. Even though I like when artist put a lot of songs on an album, it's more the quality (as opposed to quantity) that I care about more. If Stevie would've have taken all the radio hits and a few other note-worthy songs and made them into a single album, that would've been much better. Instead I feel short-changed, sorting through the "not-so-captivating" songs just to hear the gems "Summer Soft" and "Another Star". Even the songs I actually like I skip towards the end because they trail on waaaaay too long (i.e. "Ordinary Pain" with its segueway, "Joy Inside My Tears" with its refrain, and "Black Man" with its Black Panther-esque chants). And what's up with "Saturn"? I mean it's a good song, but it's just plain weird. I'm sorry to say that you're not missing anything by passing this up at the store. Get either "Innervisions" or some greatest hits compilation if you really have to have some Stevie Wonder in your collection.
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One of Mr. wonders best. Now in DTS HD 96/24 what more could you ask. Beautiful warm sound. No compression. This format is really the best way to enjoy your music. This was a excellent album to put out in the first batch. anyone who has heard this record knows what a masterpiece it is.
The Blu ray Audio discs give a much richer sound then any other format. There is no question about that. My problem is why are they so hard to find?
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on June 9, 2004
I went on a huge Stevie Wonder CD kick....everything from the Little Stevie album to this one. By far, this album is one of my favorites. Stevie Wonder's amazing, prolific, engaging, heartfelt lyrics, beautiful voice, and luscious arrangements are a definite plus!
This album was originally released in the 1970s, but the political and social messages are still relevant today. The songs that come to mind are "Love's In Need of Love Today," "Have a Talk With God," and "Black Man." Not only are the rhythms and arrangements funky, original and a perfect blend of R&B and funk, but you find yourself singing alonig (at least I do!). Also, the love songs on this album can't be beat. I can't tell you how many times I hit "replay" on track #7 on disc one. ("Knocks Me Off My Feet")
Not only is this a great album for serious Stevie fans, but it is a great introduction to those who are not as familiar with his work. These are the songs that are true examples of musical genius!
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on July 24, 2002
Seldom can an album truly claim to be a piece of history recorded for generations of musicians and laymen to enjoy for centuries to come. All of Stevie Wonder's albums from 1972 - 1980 (except perhaps the misunderstood Journey Through The Secret Life Of Plants) are truly Milestones in Modern Music, but Songs in the Key of Life's sheer epic nature ranks it above these masterpieces as the album Stevie will be most remembered for.
So what does this album have going for it? Well, we'll start with the most noticeable thing: This is a two disc set (two LP plus a special "Something's Extra" EP)! Length alone does not make an album great; that length has to consistant all the way through. this is especially important for an album that is this long. Many artists have attempted the two disc set with mixed results, but none can doubt that this is perhaps the best example of how to pull it off. From the opening "Loves In Need Of Love Today" to the after-hours "Easy Goin' Evening (My Mama's Call)" we hear nothing but sheer brilliance.
I must admit that I still am a little confused by the prescence of "Contusion" since it breaks up the musical flow a little. My personal favourites are "I Wish", "Knocks Me Off My Feet", "Ngiculela-Es Una Historia-I Am Singing" and "As". Out of those "As" is my favourite since it is the best lyrics I have ever heard set to music.
If the merits of this album are still not apparent to you, it obviously had an effect on songwriters right until the present. Let's have a look at how many songs from this album have been remade or reworked into new songs. Firstly, "I Wish" was famously sampled by Will Smith gor his collaboration with Dru Hill for "Wild Wild West", "Knocks Me Off My Feet" was remade by Wonder Sound-alike Donell Jones, Pastime Paradise was reworked into the Coolio classic "Gangster's Paradise", "Summer Soft" was sampled for Carl Thomas' "Summer Rain" and "As" was remade by Mary J. Blige and George Michael. And those are ones that I can think off!
This album is definately a must for fans of this musical genius and those who are yet to discover one of the greatest recordings of all time
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on October 5, 2002
For those who care to know, this is my 1,000th review (ladies and gentlemen, please hold your applause!), and I thought it'd be a good idea to revisit Stevie Wonder's still-influential masterpiece "Songs in the Key of Life." Yeah, he's turned in other classics, and I'm also fond of "Music of My Mind" and "Hotter Than July," but "Songs..." ranks up there with "The Beatles" and Prince's "Sign o the Times" as one of the greatest double albums ever released. I still have the original vinyl edition (left to me by my late father), and very little of the material sounds dated, but all of it ranges from "excellent" to "even better." Wonder is most effective when he sings about love, as evidenced on the still-groovy "As" (which George Michael and Mary J. Blige would later cover), the brilliant "Knocks Me off My Feet" (which Tevin Campbell would later cover), and the ever-memorable "Isn't She Lovely." Other songs that hold a place close to my heart are "Another Star," "Sir Duke," and the soaring "If it's Magic." More than a quarter century since its release, this album has lost none of its luster. A classic album as towering as "Songs in the Key of Life" isn't simply music. It's also history.
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on October 14, 2003
The Beatles released close to a dozen albums of original material in 7 years. The Stones kept up with that schedule. Paul McCartney & Wings were on the same output ratio. Elton John had a new album out every ten months. Even Led Zeppelin would never think of having more than 18 months between releases.
Stevie himself had annual releases before this. His last three, Fulfillingness' First Finale, Talking Book, and Innervisions all won Grammy Album of the year.
Then Stevie took two years to make this album. Two whole years.
And turned out a masterpiece. Sure, there's a couple of tracks (e.g. "Black Man") where I'd hit the Skip button. But so many brilliant tracks! Such variety! Such virtuousity! It seemed incapable that any one person could produce all the types of music on this CD. Certainly, no one today is capable.
It was an instant #1 album, in a time when there were virtually no instant #1 albums, a complete critical and commercial success.
And the labels got the idea that if everyone waited two years between albums, they'd all be this good.
So two or three or more years between albums became the norm.
I'm still waiting for another album this good. It could be a long wait.
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on August 31, 2000
Big, chunky, and almost precisely as old as me, this album has been raided for musical ideas ever since it came out, with Will Smith, Coolio and George Michael taking three of the songs ('I Wish', 'Pastime Paradise' and 'As') into the charts in the last five years. Performed mostly by Stevie Wonder on his own with lots of keyboards and a big tape machine, the blend of synths and traditional instruments gels so well that the gap between electronic, electric and acoustic is seamless. Like a great film, you don't notice how much effort went into the album, and that's why it works - it sounds effortless, as if Wonder just turned up, sat down, and poured the music out of his mind. Wonder sings most of the songs as if he was on the verge of a spiritual awakening, and although the lyrics often seem sentimental, he really seems to mean it.
It's not perfect - in typical mid-70's fashion some of the songs break the three-minute barrier twice over, with 'Another Star', 'Joy Inside my Tears' and 'Isn't She Lovely' droning on and on until you want to yell for Steve to just shut up, stop being so nice, and just stop (on the other hand, the extended finales to 'As' and 'Ordinary Pain' work). As if to annoy, the excellent 'Have a Talk with God' seems to finish before it begins, and through no fault of Stevie, 'Isn't She Lovely' was such a big radio hit that it's now too familiar to be listened to without gagging.
Both 'Saturn' and especially 'Black Man' are earnest, heartfelt songs about how we should all get along, which makes you wonder how music went from being so nice to being so mean.
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