Music of the Mind is pretty much the root of this uniform series of genius and it owes a whole lot to the machines, namely the Arp and Moog synthesizers Wonder adopted as major tools in his creative process. The two models go a long way to define the character of the album. A complete album distanced from the creative umbrella of Motown, Music of the Mind shows off Wonder's new sound.
It's a sound that places him with a very unique group of contemporaries, the likes of Kraftwerk, Brian Eno and a good few others, artists experimenting with electronic sounds in a pop music context. The results here are somewhat mixed. He makes a small job of transposing the passion of soul music into a synthesized world, turning his army of electronics into delicate digital emotions.
Mostly, the Arp and Moog are used for color though, save for tracks like "Keep on Running" and "Girl Blue," where the role is more noticeable. The two can be seen as shades of Wonder's success Stevie Wonder / DAngelo - In My Mind / Da Joint (Vinyl) his experiments. Perhaps not one of his finer moments, but it would certainly prove influential.
It could be easily confused with a Giorgio Moroder disco production. But "Girl Blue" is easily the more compelling of the two. It's easy to forget that Wonder is playing just about everything on the song, from the dripping synthesizers echoing his voice to the wandering drums bouncing off his clavinet stabs. And the harmonica, too. The vocals also suggest the use of a voice box with his Arp synth, also used liberally on "Love Having You Around. And then there are the ballads.
It's like, you know, fucking amazing. At this point, people realized that Wonder was no longer suggesting brilliance. He had found it. It starts off conventionally enough but the song transforms at around the mark and progresses into guitar solos and squelchy but evocative synth lines.
Progressive yet forceful, the song easily ranks among Wonder's best. Much, much, lower. But then it's not really a ballad. One of Wonder's greatest assets is his vocal range, which can mimic the guttural swang of Charles as easily as the sucrose sweet twang of Sam Cooke.
And while he puts the range Stevie Wonder / DAngelo - In My Mind / Da Joint (Vinyl) use here, the spoken word breaks bore and the harmonica is overworked and irritating. Register a free business account. There's a problem loading this menu right now. Learn more about Amazon Prime. Get free delivery with Amazon Prime. Stevie Wonder / DAngelo - In My Mind / Da Joint (Vinyl) to top.
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