Following closely on the heels of MUSIC OF MY MIND (also released in 1972), TALKING BOOK was Stevie Wonder's most consistent, developed, and impressive album to date. Building on its predecessor, TALKING BOOK combined all aspects of Stevie's musical personality--superb compositions, innovative keyboard sounds, exuberant singing, and lush, complex sonic landscapes--into a perfectly focused, polished package. The album's two hit singles, the warm, swaying love song "You Are The Sunshine of My Life" and the clavinet-driven funk workout "Superstition," proved he was onto something, and are still all-time classics in the artist's catalogue. The surging stomp of "Maybe Your Baby" is a satisfying slab of hard funk, while "Blame It On the Sun" and "Lookin' For Another Pure Love" are ballad-like meditations on love (the latter with an excellent guitar solo from Jeff Beck). "Big Brother" marks Stevie's foray into political commentary; the bitter indictment of the lyrics counterpoint the sunny, clavichord-and-harmonica-fueled melodies. As original, moving, and enjoyable today as it was on its release, TALKING BOOK is one of Stevie's finest moments, ranking just behind his masterpieces INNERVISIONS and SONGS IN THE KEY OF LIFE.
- Format: Vinyl