You know the feels when you pull out an album you haven’t listened to in a long time? So good. I’m gettin’ all emotional.
If you don’t believe Songs In The Key Of Life is one of, if not the greatest albums ever created, you’re wrong. Not only is Stevie Wonder a master of musical social commentary, but he’s gifted us some of the greatest grooves ever conceived. Albums like this don’t really happen in the mainstream now in this age of vapid pop, when the best musicians are often buried under waves of Autotuned low-fi shit.
I rarely get to listen to whole sides anymore, but Sunday night I pulled the first disc out to demonstrate to my wife what it means to play “behind the beat.” We’d seen a live band play “I Wish” and sort of butcher it earlier in the day, playing it much too straight. It’s one of my favorite songs (dat bassline...dem horns!), and I couldn’t adequately describe to her why it didn’t really groove. So I pulled this out to play the original for her. Anyway, I ended up getting to listen to the whole side as I rocked our youngest to sleep, and I’m ashamed to admit I’d forgotten about how damn good the second part of Ordinary Pain is, because it starts off a little slow. I submit that it’s one of the best pieces of funk ever recorded. Play it loud, play it often, and if you don’t have this album, get it. The really good shit starts at about 2:40.