A Time to Love
Yeah, yeah ... Steve Wonder is a musical genius, beloved by millions.
His new album is showered with Grammy Awards.
But does it have to be so ... soft? Why is it pap? Why does it make me
think of a really bad 1980s chick flick with no black people in it? What
happened to the funky Stevie Wonder of “Superstition”? What happened to
the raw joy of Little Stevie Wonder? Is the rest of his career to be
made up of flaccid pop hits in the key of “I Just Called to Say I Love
Sure, “Called” was Wonder’s biggest- selling single but it’s awful. John
Tesh awful. Kenny Loggins awful. Elevator music awful. Awful, awful —
the recording he made of Rudy during his guest appearance on the Cosby
Show had more edge.
Most of A Time to Love is like this, with the possible exceptions of the
slightly funky “If Your Love Cannot Be Moved,” the somewhat jazzy “Moon
Blue,” the hip-hop tinted “Positivity” and “So What the Fuss?,” in which
they try to make you think he’ll sing “What the f—k?” but finish the
word with a long “ssssssss” sound.
Time to Love is going to sell a lot of albums. Fans of ’80s-era Stevie
Wonder will love it. Critics will hate it. I had to listen to Wonder’s
late-’70’s masterpiece, Songs in the Key of Life, to get my testosterone
levels back to normal and my heart beating again.