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Stevie Wonder|A Time To Love

A Time To Love

Stevie Wonder

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During times of extreme political and social change, Stevie Wonder's voice and songwriting served as cultural and spiritual guideposts to many a listener, often lending insight and a barometer with which to measure the ways of the world. But that was largely during the golden phase of his career, generally regarded as being the late '60s through 1980's Hotter Than July. His work in the mid-'80s through the '90s was marginal in comparison, only hinting at glimpses of former brilliance, sugar-coated by over-polished production and radio-friendly content. So with a decade passing since his last full-length, 1995's Conversation Piece, people waited with bated breath for a sign of his return...and wondered which Wonder would show up: would it be the socially conscious genius who wrote anthems for a generation, or the R&B crooner who dominated quiet storm radio? Thankfully, it's a blend of both. For every forward-moving song with a theme, there's a gentle moment of tranquility to cancel it out. Many of these songs, save for their warm and polished digital production values, could have easily found a home in Talking Book, Music of My Mind, or any of the other albums for which Wonder will forever be praised. In an age when the majority of R&B is about money, drugs, infidelity, or getting it on, Wonder's lyrics (especially during the love songs) recall the simplicity and innocence of early Motown without sounding trite. It's definitely a refreshing change of pace and hopefully something one or two aspiring producers and songwriters are paying attention to. These are love songs of maturity that are carefully crafted, which would more or less explain why it took nearly a decade to get them finalized, with many of them feeling like mature revisitations of the classics. (If "Happier Than the Morning Sun" and "Little Girl Blue" were a pair of teenagers in love, "Sweetest Somebody I Know" is that couple 30 years later at its class reunion.) The jazzy "How Will I Know," featuring Wonder's daughter on lead vocals (the same Aisha sung about nearly 30 years ago on "Isn't She Lovely"), is the gateway to the album's second half, a five-song cycle of ballads and quiet storm jams that will appease fans of Wonder's later work. Especially notable is "My Love Is on Fire," featuring a beautiful guest appearance from jazz flutist Hubert Laws, which exemplifies the other thing that makes A Time to Love the comeback album of the year: the never-ending list of celebrity cameo appearances so extensive it would make Carlos Santana and Clive Davis blush with modesty. Guest appearances from rap pioneer Doug E. Fresh, Bonnie Raitt, Sir Paul McCartney, Kim Burrell, Prince, Kirk Franklin, and India.Arie just scratch the surface of who contributed to this record. It's one Michael Jackson and one Lionel Richie cameo short from being a USA for Africa reunion. But while each artist lends his own style to the mix, the songs definitely remain 100 percent Wonder thanks to his distinctive singing and arrangements. The album begins its landing with "So What the Fuss," a chunky block of funk with a distorted bassline. It served as the lead single and was met with surprisingly little fanfare, especially since it's one of Wonder's most straight-ahead slices of funk in some time. And the album's title track serves as a fitting conclusion to the album, spreading Wonder's message of love and peace as strongly and convincingly as any other song he's ever done. On the whole, A Time to Love is the record Wonder fans have been waiting for, and the wait has more than paid off. Through exploration and balance, A Time to Love finds the two halves of Wonder's adult career finally coming to home to roost in peaceful harmony with one another, and it's one of the finest records he has done in decades.
© Rob Theakston /TiVo

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A Time To Love

Stevie Wonder

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1
If Your Love Cannot Be Moved (Album Version)
00:06:11

Doug E. Fresh, Voice, AssociatedPerformer - Bryan Sledge, Choir - Chuck Wilson, Assistant Mixer, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - David Reitzas, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Kim Burrell, FeaturedArtist - Stevie Wonder, Producer, String Arranger, Drums, Keyboards, Percussion, Tambourine, Vocal Arranger, Sequencer, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Steve Jones, Programming, AssociatedPerformer - Evren Göknar, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Kirk Franklin, Producer, Vocal Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Lynne Fiddmont, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Neal Pogue, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Femi Jiya, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Jim Keller, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Anthony Ruotolo, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Josean Posey, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Montez, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Rickey Minor, Unknown, Other - Scott Moore, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Francesco Perlangeli, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - G. Patrick Gandy, Conductor - Thomasina Atkins, Choir - Tony Burrell, Choir - Jherimi Leigh Carter, Choir - Desarae Johnson, Choir - Erica L. King, Choir - Rob Arbittier, Editor, Programmer - Peter Vargo, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Kenya Hathaway, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Ara, African Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Nicholas Marshall, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - James Stone, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Barry Clark, Unknown, Other - Kimberly Brewer, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Christina Sirios, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - John Holino, Unknown, Other

℗ 2005 Motown Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

2
Sweetest Somebody I Know (Album Version)
00:04:31

Paul Riser, String Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - David Reitzas, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Stevie Wonder, Producer, Drums, Keyboards, Percussion, Clavichord, Harmonica, Recording Arranger, Sequencer, Background Vocalist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Steve Jones, Programming, AssociatedPerformer - Femi Jiya, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Rickey Minor, Unknown, Other - Scott Moore, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Oscar Castro-Neves, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Rob Arbittier, Editor, Programmer - Peter Vargo, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Nicholas Marshall, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - James Stone, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Christina Sirios, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Kailand Morris, Voice, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2005 Motown Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

3
Moon Blue (Album Version)
00:06:44

Stevie Wonder, Producer, Keyboards, Piano, Programmer, Bass, Keyboards, Background Vocalist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Steve Jones, Programmer - Rafa Sardina, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Keith John, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Femi Jiya, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Akosua Busia, ComposerLyricist - Rob Arbittier, Editor - Peter Vargo, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Mike Eleopoulos, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Melody McCully, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2005 Motown Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

4
From The Bottom Of My Heart
00:05:11

Fred White, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Phillip Jackson, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Stevie Wonder, Producer, Bells, Organ, Piano, Programmer, Harmonica, Bass Programming, Bongos, Recording Arranger, Digital Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Steve Jones, Programmer - Femi Jiya, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ralph Sutton, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Peter Vargo, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Donnie Whittemore, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Lamont Van Hook, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Kimberly Brewer, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Willie Wheaton, Jr., Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2005 Motown Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

5
Please Don't Hurt My Baby (Album Version)
00:04:40

Traci Nelson, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Chuck Wilson, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Kevon Edmonds, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Gregory G. Curtis, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Stevie Wonder, Producer, Drums, Keyboards, Percussion, Bass, Keyboards, Sequencer, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Steve Jones, Programming, AssociatedPerformer - Neal Pogue, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Femi Jiya, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Shirley Brewer, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Mabvuto Carpenter, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Ralph Sutton, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Debra Laws, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Timothy Johnson, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Francesco Perlangeli, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Barbara Wilson, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Rob Arbittier, Unknown, Other - Peter Vargo, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - James Stone, Unknown, Asst. Recording Engineer, Other, StudioPersonnel - Conesha Owens, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Kimberly Brewer, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - DeVere Duckett, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Willie Wheaton, Jr., Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Monique Debarge, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2005 Motown Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

6
How Will I Know (Album Version)
00:03:39

Stevie Wonder, Producer, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Alex Al, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Femi Jiya, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Trevor Lawrence Jr., Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Aisha Morris, FeaturedArtist - Peter Vargo, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Donald Whittmore, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Woodrow Murray, Unknown, Other

℗ 2005 Motown Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

7
My Love Is On Fire (Album Version)
00:06:16

Paul Riser, String Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Hubert Laws, Flute, AssociatedPerformer - Teddy Campbell, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Stevie Wonder, Producer, Keyboards, Piano, Recording Arranger, Sequencer, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Nathan Watts, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Lynne Fiddmont, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Herman Jackson, Bells, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer - Keith John, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Femi Jiya, Recording Engineer, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Julian Vasquez, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Doc Powell, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Francesco Perlangeli, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Sebastian Mego, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Rob Arbittier, Editor, Programmer - James Stone, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Gary Adante, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Kimberly Brewer, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Kristie Mingo, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Tamiko Whitsett, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2005 Motown Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

8
Passionate Raindrops (Album Version)
00:04:49

Paul Jackson, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Nathan East, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Ricky Lawson, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Stevie Wonder, Producer, Piano, Synthesizer, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Neal Pogue, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Femi Jiya, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Francesco Perlangeli, Assistant Mixer, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Rob Arbittier, Editor - Peter Vargo, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - James Stone, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Gary Adante, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - David Blumberg, String Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Paulo DaCosta, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - D. Munyungo Jackson, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2005 Motown Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

9
Tell Your Heart I Love You (Album Version)
00:04:30

BONNIE RAITT, Producer, Guitar, Co-Producer, AssociatedPerformer - Stevie Wonder, Producer, Drums, Keyboards, Percussion, Harmonica, Sequencer, Background Vocalist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Steve Jones, Programming, AssociatedPerformer - Femi Jiya, Recording Engineer, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Rob Arbittier, Editor - Tom Corwin, Producer, Co-Producer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - James Stone, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2005 Motown Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

10
True Love (Album Version)
00:03:32

Nathan East, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Mike Phillips, Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Ricky Lawson, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Stevie Wonder, Producer, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Femi Jiya, Recording Engineer, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Peter Vargo, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ken Ramos, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2005 Motown Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

11
Shelter In The Rain (Album Version - With Choir)
00:04:19

Paul Riser, String Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Narada Michael Walden, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Bryan Sledge, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Stevie Wonder, Producer, Keyboards, Piano, Synthesizer, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - DAVE REITZAS, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Kirk Franklin, Vocal Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - NICK MARSHALL, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Neal Pogue, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Femi Jiya, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ernie Fields, Strings Contractor, AssociatedPerformer - Christine Sirois, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Josean Posey, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Scott Elgin, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Rickey Minor, Orchestra Leader, AssociatedPerformer - Scott Moore, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Thomasina Atkins, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Tony Burrell, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Jherimi Leigh Carter, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Desarae Johnson, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Erica L. King, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Rob Arbittier, Programmer - Jim Reitzel, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - James Stone, Engineer, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2005 Motown Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

12
So What The Fuss (Album Version)
00:05:04

Prince, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Stevie Wonder, Producer, Drums, Bass Guitar, Keyboards, Percussion, Voices, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - En Vogue, Voices, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Steve Jones, Programmer - Femi Jiya, Mixer, Recording Engineer, Voices, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - Rob Arbittier, Programmer - Peter Vargo, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Heratch Touresian, Programmer

℗ 2005 Motown Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

13
Can't Imagine Love Without You (Album Version)
00:03:45

Greg Phillinganes, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Paul Riser, String Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Teddy Campbell, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Stevie Wonder, Producer, Piano, Harmonica, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Nathan Watts, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Neal Pogue, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Femi Jiya, Recording Engineer, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Francesco Perlangeli, Assistant Mixer, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Rob Arbittier, Editor - Peter Vargo, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Morris O'Connor, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Gary Adante, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ken Ramos, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2005 Motown Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

14
Positivity (Album Version)
00:05:07

Chuck Wilson, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Stevie Wonder, Producer, Drums, Percussion, Piano, Synthesizer, Guitar Loops, Sequencer, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Steve Jones, Programming, AssociatedPerformer - Neal Pogue, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Femi Jiya, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Francesco Perlangeli, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Rob Arbittier, Editor, Unknown, Programming, Other, AssociatedPerformer - Peter Vargo, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - James Stone, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Gary Adante, Unknown, Other

℗ 2005 Motown Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

15
A Time To Love (Album Version)
00:09:16

India.Arie, FeaturedArtist - India Arie Simpson, ComposerLyricist - Richie Gajate-Garcia, Percussion, Conga, AssociatedPerformer - Paul Mccartney, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Stevie Wonder, Producer, Drums, Piano, Bass Programming, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Amir Sofi, Unknown, Other - Femi Jiya, Recording Engineer, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Andy Weiner, Conductor, String Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Rickey Minor, String Arranger, Unknown, Other, AssociatedPerformer - Scott Moore, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Sebastian Mego, Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Jeffrey Coprich, Choir - Joy Carter, Choir - Ayrianna Cerant, Choir - Brianna Ford, Choir - Anthony Gates, Choir - Darron Gooden, Choir - Timothy Hall, Choir - Accalra Johnson, Choir - Unique Johnson, Choir - Chatoya Jones, Choir - Jabbarri Jones, Choir - Jamelle Jones, Choir - Brijee McDowell, Choir - Midori Norris, Choir - Sherman B. Winfield, Choir - LaLynda Johnson, Choir - LaShanea Winfield, Choir - LaShanique Johnson, Choir - Johniesha White, Choir - Joshlyn White, Choir - Rob Arbittier, Editor - James Stone, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Joel Poinsett, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Swapan Chaudhuri, Tabla, AssociatedPerformer - Aaron Fessell, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - D. Munyungo Jackson, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Francis Awe, Drum, AssociatedPerformer - Abbos Kosimov, Unknown, Other

℗ 2005 Motown Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

Descriptif de l'album

During times of extreme political and social change, Stevie Wonder's voice and songwriting served as cultural and spiritual guideposts to many a listener, often lending insight and a barometer with which to measure the ways of the world. But that was largely during the golden phase of his career, generally regarded as being the late '60s through 1980's Hotter Than July. His work in the mid-'80s through the '90s was marginal in comparison, only hinting at glimpses of former brilliance, sugar-coated by over-polished production and radio-friendly content. So with a decade passing since his last full-length, 1995's Conversation Piece, people waited with bated breath for a sign of his return...and wondered which Wonder would show up: would it be the socially conscious genius who wrote anthems for a generation, or the R&B crooner who dominated quiet storm radio? Thankfully, it's a blend of both. For every forward-moving song with a theme, there's a gentle moment of tranquility to cancel it out. Many of these songs, save for their warm and polished digital production values, could have easily found a home in Talking Book, Music of My Mind, or any of the other albums for which Wonder will forever be praised. In an age when the majority of R&B is about money, drugs, infidelity, or getting it on, Wonder's lyrics (especially during the love songs) recall the simplicity and innocence of early Motown without sounding trite. It's definitely a refreshing change of pace and hopefully something one or two aspiring producers and songwriters are paying attention to. These are love songs of maturity that are carefully crafted, which would more or less explain why it took nearly a decade to get them finalized, with many of them feeling like mature revisitations of the classics. (If "Happier Than the Morning Sun" and "Little Girl Blue" were a pair of teenagers in love, "Sweetest Somebody I Know" is that couple 30 years later at its class reunion.) The jazzy "How Will I Know," featuring Wonder's daughter on lead vocals (the same Aisha sung about nearly 30 years ago on "Isn't She Lovely"), is the gateway to the album's second half, a five-song cycle of ballads and quiet storm jams that will appease fans of Wonder's later work. Especially notable is "My Love Is on Fire," featuring a beautiful guest appearance from jazz flutist Hubert Laws, which exemplifies the other thing that makes A Time to Love the comeback album of the year: the never-ending list of celebrity cameo appearances so extensive it would make Carlos Santana and Clive Davis blush with modesty. Guest appearances from rap pioneer Doug E. Fresh, Bonnie Raitt, Sir Paul McCartney, Kim Burrell, Prince, Kirk Franklin, and India.Arie just scratch the surface of who contributed to this record. It's one Michael Jackson and one Lionel Richie cameo short from being a USA for Africa reunion. But while each artist lends his own style to the mix, the songs definitely remain 100 percent Wonder thanks to his distinctive singing and arrangements. The album begins its landing with "So What the Fuss," a chunky block of funk with a distorted bassline. It served as the lead single and was met with surprisingly little fanfare, especially since it's one of Wonder's most straight-ahead slices of funk in some time. And the album's title track serves as a fitting conclusion to the album, spreading Wonder's message of love and peace as strongly and convincingly as any other song he's ever done. On the whole, A Time to Love is the record Wonder fans have been waiting for, and the wait has more than paid off. Through exploration and balance, A Time to Love finds the two halves of Wonder's adult career finally coming to home to roost in peaceful harmony with one another, and it's one of the finest records he has done in decades.
© Rob Theakston /TiVo

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