Stevie Wonder Vince Aletti - Essay

Vince Aletti

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Wonder confronts us virtually single-handedly, grasps our expectations and wrestles them to the ground [in Songs in the Key of Life]. I give him four out of five falls gratefully, happily; were it not for his lyrics he might have won them all.

My immediate impression of Songs in the Key of Life is that the album has none of the pinched, overwrought, over-refined quality one might expect from material that's been coddled and polished over a period of two years. If there are scattered traces of icy, brittle perfection, the overall feeling is expansive, spontaneous and startlingly immediate. Wonder's particular genius is that his carefully crafted perfection sounds so convincingly...

(The entire section is 663 words.)