New Orleans' biggest rap export puts his contemporaries in the shade on inspired new mixtape
At The Close Of A Century
20 years of incontrovertibly fantastic music. Pure joy, in fact...
Said credibility hasn't been helped, of course, by him making precious little resembling a good record for the past 20 years. It's a strange career when you release your first hit when you're 13, in 1963, work like a bastard for the next 17 years producing a series of life-enhancingly brilliant records, then turn 30 and become magically shit. Save the tumbling euphoria of 'Do I Do', it's wise to leave CD-four in the box. And just revel in the other three.
, he still can't help screaming his love from the rooftops; and the itchy clavinet funk of 'You Met Your Match' is a sign of what was to come in the '70s...
Namely, the run of albums from 'Talking Book' to 'Songs In The Key Of Life' that saw Wonder reinvented as a kind of divine renaissance man. A bizarre hybrid of earnest mystic, concerned American citizen, Moog faddist and massive control freak, what powered him on was a still-tenacious grasp on the simple power of a great pop song. Next, he made 'The Secret Life Of Plants', still the best cosmic prog-soul double concept album about gardening ever made, and 'I Just Called To Say I Love You', a record you can never tire of breaking. But as these first three CDs show, before that was nearly 20 years of incontrovertibly fantastic music. Pure joy, in fact.
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