A Time 2 Love

On my way to work this morning, I stopped by Starbucks to get a mocha to start out my day. While I was waiting for the guy to finish making it, I noticed Stevie Wonder‘s brand new record, A Time 2 Love. The version they were selling at Starbucks included a bonus disc of six of Stevie’s hits.

After giving this a couple of listens (and uploading it to my iPod), I am astonished by his first album in a decade. It is a magnificent effort, featuring guest appearances by Kim Burrell, Aisha Morris, India.Arie, Doug E Fresh, Oscar Castro-Neves, Hubert Laws, Prince, Paul McCartney, Bonnie Raitt, and more. The album is full of songs that are destined to become classics. Solid song-writing and magnificent performances by everyone pervade the entire recording. Stevie Wonder is a towering genius.

Standout songs on this album include, well, all of them. My favorites include the bossa nova Sweetest Somebody I Know, jazzy ballad Moon Blue, upbeat From the Bottom of My Heart, the wistful duet How Will I Know which features Stevie’s daughter, the astonishing gospel-influenced ballad Shelter in the Rain, the danceable funk track So What the Fuss (which features Prince on guitar), and title track A Time to Love, featuring India.Arie and Paul McCartney. According to Stevie’s website, he’s garnered five Grammy nominations for this album and songs on it. I’m not at all surprised.

If you’re a Stevie Wonder fan, there is no way you can leave this CD out of your collection. If you’re not, but you’re a fan of good music, this is definitely a must-have. Stevie’s first album in 10 years is, by any measure, a grand slam home run. It surpassed my expectations with considerable room to spare.

My grade: A+.

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