As a kid who became a big fan of Stevie Wonder after hearing That Girl in the late 70s, I had been telling my friends for years just how cool Stevie Wonder was. In 1985, Stevie made my argument for me with In Square Circle, certainly his best album of the last 20 years. The single Part-Time Lover was a huge, huge hit, and the song has such great beat and rhythm that it always sounds fresh and exciting. Go Home also saw success as a single, but it's probably my least favorite song on the album. Then there was Overjoyed; I'm not sure it ever got the attention it deserved as a single. Quite simply, it is one of the most beautiful songs of Stevie Wonder's incredible career. The rest of the album is a smorgasbord of musical delight. I Love You Too Much is a powerful, energetic love song, while Spiritual Walkers and Land of La La are hard-driving songs with infectious beats. If it's slow Stevie Wonder ballads that you want, look no farther than the tender Whereabouts and precious Never in Your Sun. Stranger on the Shore of Love represents the best of both sides of Stevie Wonder, and I think it could have been a huge hit had it been released as a single. The album closes with both a political and moral track called It's Wrong (Apartheid), a song protesting the system of apartheid that still existed in South Africa at the time this album was released.
In Square Circle was actually the very first CD I ever owned, and it still stands as a showcase of what CD technology could do. Overjoyed features the calming sounds of ocean waves in the background, giving the song a very distinctive sound; I Love You Too Much has a unique brush-like percussion beat driving it, and it comes through loud and clear on CD. Stevie was always ahead of his time, and he is one of the few performers who absolutely deserves the title of musical genius. In Square Circle helped introduce Stevie Wonder to a new generation of listeners, and it stands as one of the greatest albums of the late, great 1980s.