Songs in the Key of Life is regarded by many as Stevie Wonder’s finest album, and there’s plenty on it to justify that claim. Others, however, see it as an over-indulgence - the tracklisting could be shorter, and the running times’ of certain songs seem excessive. When you compare Songs’ with the shorter, more focused albums that preceded it, you can’t help but think that the critics’ points are valid.
But ultimately, it’s a triumph - the work of a man at the peak of his powers. In hindsight, there’s a tinge of sadness that it would never get this good again (though the school of thought that says Stevie hasn’t done anything of note since 1976 lacks credibility), but when you’ve achieved greatness on this level, it’s almost impossible to sustain.
Liked this? Now check out Stevie Wonder turns 60!
Buy Stevie Wonder's Songs in the Key of Life here: Amazon, iTunes, HMV
Connect with MusicRadar: via Twitter, Facebook and YouTube
Get MusicRadar straight to your inbox: Sign up for the free weekly newsletter