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A Time To Love - Press Releases

The Times (UK)

A Time To Love (Universal Motown)
Ten years after previous album, Wonder never ceases
April 15, 2005

A NEW Stevie Wonder album is always an event, not least because they so rarely come along. Executive changes at Motown are vaguely cited as one reason for the delay this time, and the death of his former wife, Syreeta Wright, from cancer last year could not have helped the progress of this self-produced album. But in truth Wonder doesn’t have an excuse, other than his neurotic drive to achieve perfection. Typical of the album’s vaulting ambition is If Your Love Cannot be Moved, which includes a symphonic string section, the West Los Angeles Choir, African talking drums and Doug E. Fresh doing what Wonder describes as “a little beatbox thing.”

How Will I Know is a syrupy duet with his daughter Aisha, while Wonder is joined by fellow Motown artist India Arie on the title track. But putting the romantic ballads firmly in their place is Wonder’s historic get-together with Prince on the single, So What the Fuss, an awesome funk workout with a crunching synth-bass line, swift, street-wise lyric and a neat line in sampled car horns.

He says “My thing has never been about creating music on some sort of schedule.”

We say Better late than never.

Verdict The old-school magic is still there.

Release date Album, May 3; Single So What the Fuss. (DS)