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Where I’m Coming From – Stevie Wonder

Stevie Wonder Where I'm Coming From

Where I’m Coming From

(1971), 6/10
After a decade at a Motown child star, Stevie Wonder released his first fully self-produced album with Where I’m Coming From. Reaching the age of 21, Wonder was able to renegotiate his Motown contract, and Where I’m Coming From is seen as his first fully fledged adult album. It’s not as strong as the classic albums that follow it; it’s awkward in places, and there’s an odd grab bag of styles.

The album opens with stately harpsichord on ‘Look Around’, there are also boring slow ballads like ‘Think Of Me As Your Soldier’, while ‘Take Up A Course in Happiness’ is pure schmaltz. There’s also strong material; the most memorable track is the single ‘If You Really Love Me’, with its upbeat and horn laced chorus juxtaposed against stately verses, while the pretty ‘Never Dreamed You’d Leave in Summer’ was recycled for the next album’s ‘Superwoman’. The clavinet and organ laced ‘Do Yourself a Favour’ is another strong track.

Even if it’s Wonder’s first album in control, I wouldn’t start a Wonder exploration with Where I’m Coming From – it’s more like an interesting snapshot of a young Stevie trying lots of different things than a fully accomplished album, but it’s certainly fascinating for fans.

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