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A Time To Love - Press Release

The London Free Press (Ontario, Canada)

A Time to Love
22 October 2005

Putting out an album every 10 years has its pros and cons. The upside: Everybody's thrilled to see you -- plus they've likely forgotten how bad your last disc sucked. The downside: After a decade to get it right, you'd better deliver the goods.

Well, we are happy to report soul icon Stevie Wonder does indeed get it right -- or at least more right than wrong -- on A Time to Love, his long-overdue followup to 1995's blah Conversation Peace.

Despite his lengthy absence, Wonder hasn't lost his songwriting touch or supple voice. If anything, he's reconnected with his creative muse and become reinvigorated as a performer, resulting in his first disc in memory that doesn't seem embarrassing next to his classic albums. Cuts such as Please Don't Hurt My Baby, So What the Fuss, Positivity and Sweetest Somebody I Know revisit the irresistible clavinet-and-harmonica funk and soul-pop of the '70s; the thickly vibing If Your Love Cannot Be Moved shows Wonder can handle contemporary hip-hop; heartfelt piano ballads such as Moon Blue, True Love and How Will I Know (featuring daughter Aisha Morris) are smooth enough to erase the treacly aftertaste of The Lady in Red. The fact Wonder plays most of the instruments on these 15 tracks goes a long way toward justifying the long wait for this 77-minute disc.

You could argue there are a few too many slow cuts in the second half, a few too many questionable guest spots (why have Paul McCartney play guitar and not sing?) and a few too many songs that play it safe. But you can't dispute that A Time to Love is both a solid comeback and a welcome return to form by one of pop's most significant voices.