By People Staff
October 28, 1985 12:00 PM

Stevie Wonder

Maybe everybody ought to take five years between albums. It would certainly be worth the wait if everyone was as conscientious and inspired as Wonder. It’s always possible to take some exception to his lyrics. For instance, “Spiritual Walkers”—”They sit on a stump/ You run from their sight/ To not hear the holy word”—strains credulity. He can get painfully naive, as he does with “all true love needs is a chance,” in “Overjoyed”. In any case, Wonder has such an unflagging sense of melody that the words often don’t matter. The bass lines he lays down with his synthesizers are things of beauty. The tunes for, say, “Never in Your Sun” or “Stranger on the Shore of Love” demonstrate what people mean when they talk about haunting music. “It’s Wrong (Apartheid)”, which could have bogged down in preachiness, succeeds because Wonder keeps the tempo lively, and he uses a chorus of black South Africans singing in Xhosa (the clicking language made famous by Miriam Makeba) to echo his own plea that “the clock of now says it’s time.” This LP may not be quite the grand production that Songs in the Key of Life was. Then again, not everything Shakespeare wrote was Hamlet or King Lear. (Tamla)Ralph Novak

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