46 of 46 people found the following review helpful
on 5 April 2005
Stevie Wonder is a musical genius. His voice is superb, his piano playing inspired and his songs unforgettable. Innervisions is the album to start with if you dont know too much about SW. You will hear good things about 'Songs in the key of life' and all those good reviews are perfectly justified, but 'Innervisions' is on a different level. Every song is a masterpiece of soulful, funky music. The melodies are unforgettable! Stevie Wonders strength, apart from his great voice, is his approach to song writing. As a writer he is eclectic; on this particular album, going from the wistful teary eyed ambience of 'Visions' to the hard funk of 'Higher Ground' 'Innervisions' also happens to have my two of my favourite SW songs of all time 'Golden Lady' and 'Living for the city' I bought it on the strength of those two songs and was unexpectadly knocked out by the rest of this great package. Wonder and his band use electronics and acoustics tastefully and expertly side by side to produce that glorious 70's funk sound, synonomous with edgy and more experimental artists, while clevery retaining the commercial edge. This would be high in my chart of 'best albums of all time' Just think, all this praise and anthusiasm from a 'Prog Rock' fan, Innervisions must be good to cut through my cold cynicism reserved for anything that isnt 20 minutes in length, and in 7/4 time.
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on 14 October 2000
This album, next to Marvin Gaye's What's Going On and Al Green's I'm Still In Love With You is the definitive soul album. From the opening synth-filled pungence of Too High to the closing, wonderful growled "duh duh duh duh" of He's Misstra Know-It-All, Wonder can do no wrong. The obvious highlights are "Living For The City" and "Higher Ground" but the detatched elegance of "Visions" and the thrilling "Don't You Worry 'Bout A Thing" are too great for words. Songs In The Key of Life may get more acclaim and I Just Called To Say I Love You may be his Oscar-winning biggest selling single, but Innervisions is Wonder's definitive statement, a flash of utter genius!
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
While the conventional wisdom has "Songs in the Key of Life" as SWs best album, I found it to be a little long winded, with too many tracks running out of ideas/steam long before their end,
On Inner Visions IMHO, we find him with a collection of songs which hang together beautifully, which is perfectly paced, and without a duff track. The familiar hits need no introduction, and those which never made a single release are as strong.
When this album was released, Stevie was pushing the boundaries , developing the synthesiser sound he had pioneered on Music of my Mind" and "Talking Book", taking Soul music (and music in general in fact) to new places.
If you are in any way a fan of modern R & B, you need this album to find out where the sound came from, if you are a fan of Soul or Funk, it is indispensible.
32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on 14 May 2002
I was introduced to this album , other wise I might have laboured on with my misconception, held by many I feel, that Stevie is only 'Ebony & Ivory' schmaltz and some of the other guff he has come out with from the early 1980s onwards. This album and Gaye's 'What's Goin' On' are essential for a variety of reasons: early examples of a black artist taking creative control and venting their anger at the treatment of their fellow man; examples of former child stars finally gaining artistic release from the artistic shackles of the Motown to express themselves fully; and albums that have not dated at all. Mnay people prefer 'Songs In The Key Of Life', but this is the album that best showcases his talents. By the release of this album the Panthers were fading/over as a force, so it must have been a shock for a squeaky clean ex-child star like Wonder to come out with something as acerbic as 'Living For The City'. Listening to Stevie growl over that track, and gently mock in 'He's Misstra Know It All', and you realise that before his winsome duets with McCartney et al here was an artist who was not only a musical genius but who hit his every target with a sarcastic panache. For me. 'Living For The City' is still one of the most coruscating songs about the US black urban experience recorded over the last 30 years- a template for Public Enemy and others to follow.....you won't find many serious artists today who don't respect this guy or do not give this album pride of place......please buy it, and see what you've been missing......it is never out of my hi-fi.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 20 October 2004
Stevie Wonder once explained that "Talking Book" was a collection of better songs, but that "Innervisions" was a better overall statement, especially in terms of his sense of spirituality. Certainly this 1973 album is more coherent thematically. "Higher Ground" and "Living For The City" represent the pinnacle of his songwriter, working on such a different level. "Superstition" might be my favorite Stevie Wonder song, but it is not his best song, if that makes any sense. The ballads "Golden Lady" and "All in Love is Fair," along with "Doncha Worry Bout a Thing," and "Jesus Children of America," are the non-hits that more than justify picking up "Innvervisions" instead of stopping with the latest Stevie Wonder hit collection (e.g., "The Definitive Collection"). Add "Talking Book" to the mix and that would be the minimum essential requirements for the Stevie Wonder section of your music library.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 5 August 2007
A breath taking range of dazzling originality and homage - from the Joni Mitchell "For The Roses "piano opening to Golden Lady or the Sergio Mendes and Brasil 66 ( Think Equinox album ) of "Don't you Worry Bout a Thing" to "only Steve could do it " Jesus Children ( THE under rated track on the album ) and the immaculate "Too High ". Right in the middle of course is the full version of Living for the City and if this doesn't move you nothing will. I agree with everything everybody else has said but would add that this is also Tonto's contributions at their best - Bob and Malcolm responding to Steve's challenges - think the synth bass line on Jesus Children - (Jam and Lewis lived off this for most of their career)
Moreover, this is the best sequenced album ever - a dying art in this time of Downloadia. A roller coaster of different emotions piled one after the other - from the gut wrenching break up with Syreeta of "All is fair "to the silly joy of "Don't You worry "and finally the dark anger of He's Misstra Know it all . All of human life is here - Simply the best album ever made alongside Revolver.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 20 July 2006
Stevie Wonder never bettered his output in the early to Mid 70's and I would consider this to be the jewel in his crown. The CD is crammed with Quality from the start of "Too High" right through to "Misstra Know it All". For me the best songs on the CD are "Living for the City" a wonderful comment on Social wrongs in Society or "Misstra Know it all" but no disrespect is meant to any of the other tracks. There is no filler here and for those who may be put off Stevie by such songs as "I just Called to Say I loved You" or "Happy Birthday", I say check this out, you wont be disappointed. In fact, for anyone who is serious about collecting Soul Music, this is an absolute must to have.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 23 November 2002
Having played some Stevie Wonder in a band, I needed to find out what his music was all about. Innervisions was voted in the top ten of a greatest albums list I read and I saw it on amazon... so decided to buy it; I was not disappointed. This is a brilliant album that deserves to be played from start to finish on every occasion it is heard. From the opening bass refrain of Too High to the mesmerising Jesus Children to the mocking Mistra Know-it-all, this is a work of genius. To think that Wonder wrote, sang and produced this album and played almost every instrument puts current "stars" to shame. If I had to pick my favourites, it would be the beautiful Golden Lady and the great latin rhythms of Don't You Worry About a Thing, possibly Wonder's best song. I went on to buy Talking Book, also excellent.
Surely everyone should own this album, especially at this price.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 30 September 2008
I am not one to use the word 'MASTERPIECE' freely. This is because these days, i feel most people overuse the word 'masterpiece' and i find this to be rather irritating. You know what i mean? Too many albums, films, etc are refered to as masterpieces when they are just ok or good. This album, however is NOT ok or good. It IS a masterpiece.
Firstly, let me say, i am a rock fan. I was brought up on Heavy metal and punk. I'd lived in complete ignorence of Stevie Wonder until a friend recommended this album to me. At first, as you can probably guess, i was hesitant. Its not rock, i thought, why would i like it? Eventually i yielded and got a copy, expecting to give away after i'd heard it once. How wrong i was. This album is a genuine work of genius. Stevie pours his heart and soul into every song. He doesn't just perform the songs, he LIVES them. Songs like 'Living for the city' say more about black rights than most hip-hop acts do and 'Higher Ground' make the RHCP cover look downright amatuerish. Every track is special though, you'll find no filler on this album.
Yes, i'm still a rock, punk and metal fan and always will be. But the MASTERPIECE that is INNERVISIONS has made me realise that i need to broaden my horizons. Put simply, it doesn't matter what your musical tastes are, true masterpieces, if you're brave enough to diversify, can be enjoyed by all. This is one of those examples. Go on, take the chance.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 5 September 2000
Songs to move you, songs to groove to - you get the idea. What can you say about the man that hasn't already been written? This album, considering it was supposed to be about all that's wrong with the world, is nothing but positive all the way through. From the anti-drugs opening of "Too High" to the polemic "Livin' In The City" and up to "Don't You Worry Bout A Thing" - perhaps the best song that Stevie ever wrote - Innervisions is packed with soul, funk, reflection and power to move even the most cautious of listeners. And, if "Higher Ground" got Stevie himself out of a coma, think what it can do for you!. An essential album.