Sixteen-recorded albums later, Stevie Wonder was a gold miner for his musical talents and knew nothing but strength and emotional attachment for describing just how beautiful the world can be inside his mind. His critically acclaimed masterpiece, Innervisions speaks directly to the listener as a tale of abuse, personality, and eventually triumph through a smooth, satin film.
Innervisions is one of those records that lives forever through the relatable moments in the themes behind the outstanding instrumentation. From the synth keys that shine through on the first cut, “Too High” or to the very elegant and emotionally driven piano on “All In Love Is Fair,” there is always a substantial use of ability behind Wonder’s sense of direction. The beauty is present throughout and always manages to co-exist within this magnificent sense of consistently shifting styles of tempo and chord progressions.
The way that Stevie Wonder moves on into “Visions” with the incredibly subtle acoustic guitar and beautiful arrangement of poetic vocals provides different looks into his artistic tone. Wonder describes, “I’m not one who make believes, I know that leaves are green. They only change to brown, when autumn comes around. I know just what I say, today’s not yesterday and all things have an ending.” Through the slower, but steady increase of movement which then leads into “Living For The City” where the entire emotional setting is drastically changed as well.
It is a vibrant tone of intrigue that leads into the frantic vitality of the city life, telling the story of a young American that moves into the bright and shining lights of New York City. It describes “Her brother’s smart, he’s got more sense than many. His patience’s long but soon he won’t have any. To find a job is like a haystack needle, because where he lives they don’t use colored people.” The story then finds the young man living just enough for the city and finding out soon that New York is not what he first envisioned. Through the spoken word detailing at the midpoint of “Living For The City,” then involves the main character being arrested and sentenced to ten years. Wonder then describes his own sorrow for the main character and just how unfair and rough the city can be for people of color.
Wonder then thankfully changes topics and becomes more focused on a more upbeat sense of story where he describes a “Golden Lady” that is heaven on Earth. He shouts over the dance heavy piano, “And golden lady, golden lady, I’d like to go there.” It is filled with clasping hi-hats and bongo styled drums that reflect well on the variation behind Innervisions. Especially as Wonder then moves into “Don’t You Worry ‘Bout A Thing,” a Central America styled instrumental with heavily clasping and maracas that have Wonder yelling “Everybody needs a change, a chance to check out the new. But you’re only one to see, the changes you take yourself through.”
Innervisions is a powerful movement that follows Wonder’s view on the world. The immaculately talented artist can open the listeners mind and still be a relevant release even forty-five-years later.