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A Time To Love - Press Release


Stevie Wonder ends 10-year absence just in 'Time'
Sunday October 02

LOS ANGELES (Billboard) - After several well-publicized delays, Stevie Wonder's first studio album in 10 years, "A Time to Love," is due in stores Oct. 18.

Wonder says the album's delay had nothing to do with any fear factor: "I was never afraid to put this out. That was never the issue -- ever. I wanted it to sound contemporary but still be me. It was just a matter of getting it right."

The artist adds, "Everyone worked very hard on this. I'm very comfortable with everything."

The 15 original tracks, not surprisingly, revolve around the theme of love. Musically, the set reflects Wonder's embrace of all genres, from hip-hop to gospel to world music, with some arrangements using strings. These musical and lyrical components spark memories of signature songs from Wonder's 45-year career.

His duets with daughter Aisha Morris ("How Will I Know," "Positivity") recall her contribution as an infant on "Isn't She Lovely," as does young son Kailand's impromptu assist at the end of "Sweetest Somebody I Know."

Wonder gets down to man-and-his-piano basics on the jazzy "Moon Blue" (co-written by "The Color Purple" actress Akosua Busia) and the atmospheric "True Love." The inspirational "Shelter in the Rain" is being promoted to gospel and Christian stations. It is available as a single online Oct. 4 and in stores Oct. 18, with proceeds going to the Wonder Foundation to benefit Hurricane Katrina relief efforts.

Guest vocalists include gospel artist Kim Burrell on the anthemic "If Your Love Cannot Be Moved" (with choir vocals produced by Kirk Franklin) and India.Arie on the title track. Other guests include flutist Hubert Laws, guitarist Doc Powell, Paul McCartney, drummer Narada Michael Walden and Brazilian guitarist Oscar Castro Neves. A planned collaboration with John Mayer did not pan out because of scheduling problems.

Fans -- who could download the full album beginning Sept. 27 at all major online music sites -- will find more than just the new studio recording awaiting them.

A week before the album's in-store date, a new boxed set of Wonder material will be available exclusively from iTunes. According to Motown president Sylvia Rhone, the boxed set will contain more than 570 tracks, including remixes, rarities and previously unreleased material.

Wonder also appears on J Records' "So Amazing: An All-Star Tribute to Luther Vandross," dueting with Beyonce on the title cut.