Tuesday, August 9, 2011

284 Music of my mind



Album: Music of my Mind
Artist: Stevie Wonder
Year: 1972
Genre: Funk (or soul. Or Pop)

Tracks


  1. Love Having You Around
  2. Superwoman
  3. I Love Every Little Thing About You
  4. Sweet Little Girl
  5. Happier Than The Morning Sun
  6. Girl Blue
  7. Seems So Long
  8. Keep On Running
  9. Evil


As far as I’m concerned there are two Stevie Wonders: the funk superstar who wrote the magnificent Supersition and Higher Ground and the balladeer who penned the worthy but cringy and a bit dull Isn’t she lovely and I just called to say I love you. Music of my mind was the first chance I’ve had to hear an album all the way through and establish whether I’m a Stevie Wonder fan who dislikes a few songs or a guy who just likes a couple of his funkier tunes.

Music of my Mind starts off in a way that I could only describe as musically deceptive. Love Having You Around sounds like a groovy party in a studio that somehow resulted in a song. It rocks and bops along with a great atmosphere and you can imagine Stevie at the keyboard surrounded by some ultra-cool bandmates and sexy backing vocalists. They grooved and jamed for a bit and then played back the tape and realised they created a great song. The truth however is that the whole thing is basically just the one guy. With the exception of the trombone, all the instruments are played by Stevie. It’s possible he even sang the female backing vocalists since they’re uncredited and he’s clearly talented enough. It makes you wonder who he’s singing Love Having you Around to? The studio cleaner? It’s an impressive effort. I’ve always said the best music comes when people bounce off each other and inspire each other so to create a great track by laying down vocals, keyboards, bass and drums all by yourself earns my respect.

The next track has a guest guitarist but from then on every instrument you hear is Wonder himself.  The man is such a talent he can create entire albums without help. He doesn't even need someone to turn the studio lights on he just needs a studio, some instruments, a familiar floor-plan and he’s away.

Music of My Mind has confirmed what I felt about Stevie Wonder before I heard it. When he’s funky (Love having you around, Keep on Running) he’s fantastic but when he slows down (Superwoman, Seems so long) he tends to lose me a bit. There are other Wonder albums to come and Music of My Mind has made me look forward to hearing them.

Influenced by: James Brown and his own abilities
Influenced: Rock/Funk like the Red Hot Chilli Peppers.

Highlight: Love having you around
Lowlight: Seems So Long

Favourite Amazon Customer Review Quote: "I didn't give it an A+ because it isn't as good as his others, but it is excellent nevertheless--just what I expected."

-Is it possible you also avoided giving it an A+ because it's technically impossible with Amazon's star based system?

So is music of my mind a no brainer or completely brainless? Let me know below.

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