Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Stevie Wonder: Innervisions [Tamla, 1973]
It's neither Wonder's attraction to cliches nor his proud belief that he's the peer of anyone who can read this that leads him to render his mental life in a visual metaphor. It's because he's got no use for abstraction--he's technical/physical rather than logical/conceptual. Here once again he treads the fine line between glossolalia and running on at the mouth. Any suggestion that the bitter defeats of "Living in the City" are as unfactual as the "dream come true" of "Golden Lady" is simply irrelevant, because both are the truth--and unless he's snuck one past me and "Golden Lady" is about the sun, which would be interesting, that song is the worst one here. This is music that makes you believe in faith, almost like Stevie, who only knows that leaves turn from green to brown because he's got no choice. A