Apple Music 100 Best Albums

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Stevie Wonder


The boldest political statement of Wonder’s career also managed to be deliriously funky.

The boldest political statement of Wonder’s career yet—assailing drug addicts, infrastructural racism, charismatic con men, and superficial Christians—Innervisions also managed to be deliriously funky. Wonder played and produced just about everything, and the musical peaks were as high as Wonder would ever get, though the tone was more accusatory than ever.

“The way that he was able to tease at your emotions and pick at you, you just had to let yourself become part of his music.”

Jack Garratt

“Living for the City” is a feverish seven-minute soul operetta about the unforgiving toll of urban life for the Black working class in the post-Black Power moment. The album-ending slow burn “He’s Misstra Know-It-All” suavely identifies the character types who prey on those same marginalized people, including, many surmised, the soon-to-resign Nixon. There’s salvation to be found in “Higher Ground,” which asserts Wonder’s belief in reincarnation over his trademark wah-wah clavinet and Moog bass. Both a kiss-off to late-’60s hippie optimism and a pathway to numerous possible spiritual futures, Innervisions cemented Wonder as the most inspired and singular mind in 1970s American popular music.