Rushed out to reassure a public confused by Plants, this album is full of huge hooks and gorgeous melodies ("Did I Hear You Say You Love Me," the ballad "Lately," "As If You Read My Mind" with Syreeta), but the breathtaking innovation we'd come to expect from Stevie is missing.
Charles and Ronnie Wilson add backing vocals on "I Ain't Gonna Stand For It." (DBW)
I like this one too, and it's got some rapturous tunes ("All I Do"). But I can't see rating it up with Stevie's classic 70's work; it's just too light, ridden with love song lyrics and 70's pop/light funk motifs.
Even when Stevie goes political on the irresistable reggae number "Master Blaster (Jammin')" and the sugary Martin Luther King holiday booster "Happy Birthday," the arrangements are so bouncy and cheerful they defeat his pedagogical intent.
There are too many musically lazy singalongs ("Do Like You"), something Stevie avoided on his best albums.
The record's a good buy, but don't expect too much. (JA)
Wilson & Alroy's