A Time to Love

Studio Album by released in 2005
A Time to Love's tracklist:
If Your Love Cannot Be Moved (feat. Kim Burrell)
Sweetest Somebody I Know
Moon Blue
From the Bottom of My Heart
Please Don't Hurt My Baby
How Will I Know (feat. Aisha Morris)
My Love Is on Fire
Passionate Raindrops
Tell Your Heart I Love You
True Love
Shelter From the Rain
So What the Fuss
Can't Imagine Love Without You
Positivity (feat. Aisha Morris)
A Time to Love (feat. India.Arie)

A Time to Love review

Stevie Wonder’s long awaited and overdue new album is finally here

Lately, Ribbon in the Sky, Superstition, and My Cherie Amour are just a few of the countless Stevie Wonder songs that the world has marked their lives by. The associations that this genius creates are some of the strongest in the world of music. During times of extreme political and social change, Stevie Wonder's voice and songwriting served as cultural and spiritual guideposts to many listeners, often lending insight and a barometer with which to measure the ways of the world. The long awaited and overdue follow up to his last studio release 1995's Conversation Piece is finally here. A Time to Love will please Wonder devotees with lush arrangements and catchy melodies. The album got such a title because Wonder says there's been a time for war, a time to imprison, a time to hurt and break down and now it is time to love. The album finds him mixing the best of his musical traits, his social awareness and his sweet love songs. Wonder is a notorious perfectionist, but his attention to detail in the production real shines. The songs are magnificently arranged and crafted, especially the love songs. It's easy to see how Wonder spent 10 years on A Time to Love because every note, lyric, and vocal inflection was made with painstaking care that is evident even on the first listen.

Duets with Aisha Morris, Kim Burrell, India.Arie and many more

The opening song, If Your Love Cannot Be Moved, is a dramatic opening that is a duet with Kim Burrell and features some rhymes from old-school legend Doug E. Fresh. How Will I Know is a jazzy number that he duets with his daughter Aisha Morris. The song is especially appealing because there a sense of joy and fun that Wonder lets out while singing with his daughter (who sounds a bit like Alicia Keys). My Love Is On Fire (which features great flute work by Hubert Laws) and Passionate Raindrops have tremendous orchestration and So What The Fuss is as funky as anything he's done since the 70's. Positivity is a selection that strays a little from the love theme and focuses on looking at life from the bright side point of view. The song has a playful bouncy beat that is infectious and gets the fingers to snapping. Stevie saves the best for last in the sprawling nine-minute title track. It is a duet with India. Arie (and features old friend Sir Paul McCartney on guitar) that has a sweeping string arrangement and the message of peace and love is as sincere and convincing as any social lyric Wonder has recorded. But while each guest artist lends his own style to the mix, the songs definitely remain 100 percent Wonder thanks to his distinctive singing and arrangements.

A Time To Love sound is somehow timeless, yet very much of the moment.

Wonder is still a singular talent, quite possibly the hardest person to dislike in all of popular music. Simply put, the 55-year-old's voice is gorgeous, as clear and honey-smooth as it was thirty years ago. Like Prince, another erstwhile pop genius who happens to appear on this record, Stevie Wonder was an artist in need of a comeback. His talent is just too great to fizzle and fade away. And like Prince with Musicology, Wonder has found his comeback in the form of a sort of compromise: strongly recalling his classic work, but mellowed, tailor-made for an audience who continue to mature along with Wonder itself. What makes this album beautifully reflective of his greatest work is that the struggles, passions, failures, and triumphs he describes are felt by everyone regardless of race, religion, or social status. It may not have the same kind of resonance as those glory years – few records do – but A Time to Love is possessed of a charm and a beauty all its own. A Time to Love sound is somehow timeless, yet very much of the moment. After 10 years away, Stevie Wonder is still a musical marvel. This record will remind people not only what R&B used to be, but what it should and can be. Let's hope it is less than a decade before Mr. Wonder graces us with another album.

(10.11.2005)
Rate review2.61
Total votes - 76


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