Most helpful positive review
40 of 41 people found the following review helpful
on 8 May 2002
This is one of the first albums I bought when 'going CD', after falling in love with my mother's vinyl copy. 'What's Going On' is a stunning album ,and though 30 years old, as contemporary as if it were recorded yesterday. This is undoubtedly the high point of Gaye's career, between the Motown mush foisted on him (such a waste of his angelic voice) and the rising of his personal problems. I cannot recommend this album highly enough, even to those unacquainted with Marvin or not connoisseurs of this type of music. Beautifully orchestrated songs on themes ranging from peace, religion, ecology and the plight of black americans, all delivered in that peerless voice, make the album is a fantastic listen. From the laidback lament of the title track through to the ominously plaintive 'Inner City Blues' (the segue between 'God Is Love' and 'Mercy Mercy Me' still makes me shiver even after a thousand listens), Marvin holds forth on those things dearest to him, underlining how pointless and vacuous some of today's efforts are by comparison. Every collection should have this album, which stands alongside 'Innervisions' as one of the first occasions a black artist verbally confronted some of the ills that ailed black America. And given what happened some 13 years later, it is almost painful to hear him sing lines like 'love your father' and father father, we don't need to escalate.' Great album, great loss.