A Time To Love - Press Release
The Japan Times
A Time to Love
Stevie Wonder happily belongs to the world, so one feels cheap
complaining about the sentimental sappiness that characterized his
output in the 1980s and '90s; or, at least, cheaper than one does when
complaining about cogenerationists like Rod Stewart and Sir Paul, whose
sappiness is contrived.
Whatever you say about Stevie, you know he has convictions -- about
world peace, social injustice and especially the objects of his desire
past and present. Comfortably ensconced in middle age, he doesn't push
nostalgia for an idealized musical past since he still lives there in
his mind -- which is the only explanation I can think of for how he can
come up with the kind of killer melodies that overflow on his first new
album in 10 years.
Though sap runs through the whole 77-minute record, you don't
register it until the truly mawkish track 8 because up to that point the
tunes are so classic: "Please Don't Hurt My Baby" is prime '70s Motown
funk, while "From the Bottom of My Heart" is surely entering heavy
rotation at your local karaoke emporium while you read this. And as the
album coasts to its epic why-can't-we-all-get-along finish you get so
caught up in his bullet-proof "positivity" that the sentimentality feels
natural. If anyone can make love cool again, it's Stevie.