Wonder’s musical talent is undeniable, but on Innervisions he grasped a lyrical depth to match it. He’d dabbled with politics on the previous album’s ‘Big Brother’, but his thoughts are more coherent and mature here, such as the gritty ‘Livin’ For The City’. Musically it’s also more varied than Talking Book, but it’s the strong lyrics that raise the bar from his previous work.
The lengthy ‘Living For The City’ is the album’s centrepiece, with a powerful groove and poignant lyrics, and even the spoken section in the middle of the song works, and it’s powerful when Wonder’s huskier voice leads the final section. ‘Visions’ shimmers with lovely acoustic guitar work, while ‘All In Love is Fair’ features Wonder’s refined balladry devoid of sentimentality. ‘Golden Lady’ and ‘He’s Misstra Know-It-All’ canter behind confident piano grooves, while ‘Higher Ground’ and ‘Jesus Children of America’ are punchier.
Innervisions is a flat-out masterpiece without a single weak track, and astonishingly it’s not even Wonder’s best album….