Stevie Wonder's "Innervisions"
By Maximillian Muhammad
While Stevie's records aren't as powerful as back in the 70s, he still makes great songs. But in his heyday the records were straight-to-the-point brilliant, testaments of the world at large in music and vision. Stevie Wonder, an extraordinary writer, arranger, producer, multi-instrumentalist and sound man, created an album that is ironically, the story of a man seeing the world literaly...for what it really is. That's hauntin' enough for us who see the ignorance over color and material all the time.
In "Too High" and "Visions," he's setting up for the world at large. It's polluted and corrupted...the work comes across as eerie just after two songs 'cuz that alone sounds like a lot of today. The next song speaks volumes...to this day, how many songs have you heard address the "isms," and yet take on the subtle forms just as strongly? In "Living for the City," the hauntin' organ takes you to anywhere, America...any given area from Hollywood to Texaco (Denny's, you can fill in the blanks). Education is the hidden message in these songs and it details how people of color are taken for granted.
The 'hood' has always been the media's cornerstone. It's gold either way you flip it. "Golden Lady," "Higher Ground," "Jesus Children of America," "All in Love is Fair" and "Don't you Worry 'Bout a Thing" all take the listener to a spiritual high. Don't be frettin' 'cuz a higher power shall help you see clearly. Stevie also emphasizes that we have to learn to find that which is special in our fellow human beings.
In so many words, he was saying that those who can see can't see what he can, that people are missing out on the human element of life. "He's Mister Know-it- All" is clearly a reference to Richard Nixon, who was Impeached a year after this record came out. The visions on this record were a time capsule that said, "take it before it's too late". And many still haven't taken heed. The sound quality and confidence on this record are top-of-the-line, but, more importantly, its content is still intact. A true genius can just feel things...that's the brilliance all over this record in sound, mind and soul.