A Time to Love

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Barnes & Noble - Dave Gil de Rubio
With A Time to Love, Stevie Wonder's first album since 1995's Conversation Peace, the multi-faceted Motown legend shows he hasn't missed a creative step. Hope, happiness, and love are at the heart of this collection, for which the legend wrote or co-wrote all of the music and lyrics. On the disc, Wonder builds off a base of funk and ballads while heading down other stylistic byways. Duets with daughter Aisha Morris, (last heard as a baby on the '70s smash "Isn't She Lovely") range from the torch-song jazz of "How Will I Know" to the uplifting and bouncy Jackson 5-flavored R&B of "Positivity." Elsewhere, the 55-year-old doles out lightly orchestrated bossa nova ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Dave Gil de Rubio
With A Time to Love, Stevie Wonder's first album since 1995's Conversation Peace, the multi-faceted Motown legend shows he hasn't missed a creative step. Hope, happiness, and love are at the heart of this collection, for which the legend wrote or co-wrote all of the music and lyrics. On the disc, Wonder builds off a base of funk and ballads while heading down other stylistic byways. Duets with daughter Aisha Morris, (last heard as a baby on the '70s smash "Isn't She Lovely") range from the torch-song jazz of "How Will I Know" to the uplifting and bouncy Jackson 5-flavored R&B of "Positivity." Elsewhere, the 55-year-old doles out lightly orchestrated bossa nova via the "Sweetest Somebody I Know," and gets his old-school electro-funk groove on with "So What the Fuss" complete with Gap Band-flavored synth squiggles, backup vocals from En Vogue, and a cameo by fellow comeback kid Prince on guitar. And while other cameos -- by a slide guitar-wielding Bonnie Raitt on the bouncy, harmonica-powered head-bobber "Tell Your Heart I Love You" and a Kirk Franklin-led choir on the gospel-inspired "Shelter in the Rain," among many others -- resonate effectively, it's on the sweeping title duet with India.Arie where Wonder strikes the socially conscious note that he last hit effectively in the '70s. Amid a mélange of Indian tablas, African talking drums, Wonder's understated piano accompaniment, and a hint of strings, the twosome sincerely ponder: "Hatred, violence and terrorism/When will there be a time to love?" Ballads like "Passionate Raindrops" and "From the Bottom of My Heart" find Wonder layering the sentimentality on a bit too thick, but overall, A Time to Love is a welcome return.
All Music Guide - Rob Theakston
During times of extreme political and social change, Stevie Wonder's voice and songwriting served as cultural and spiritual guideposts to many a listener, often lending insight and a barometer with which to measure the ways of the world. But that was largely during the golden phase of his career, generally regarded as being the late '60s through 1980's Hotter Than July. His work in the mid-'80s through the '90s was marginal in comparison, only hinting at glimpses of former brilliance, sugar-coated by over-polished production and radio-friendly content. So with a decade passing since his last full-length, 1995's Conversation Piece, people waited with bated breath for a sign of his return...and wondered which Wonder would show up: would it be the socially conscious genius who wrote anthems for a generation, or the R&B crooner who dominated quiet storm radio? Thankfully, it's a blend of both. For every forward-moving song with a theme, there's a gentle moment of tranquility to cancel it out. Many of these songs, save for their warm and polished digital production values, could have easily found a home in Talking Book, Music of My Mind, or any of the other albums for which Wonder will forever be praised. In an age when the majority of R&B is about money, drugs, infidelity, or getting it on, Wonder's lyrics especially during the love songs recall the simplicity and innocence of early Motown without sounding trite. It's definitely a refreshing change of pace and hopefully something one or two aspiring producers and songwriters are paying attention to. These are love songs of maturity that are carefully crafted, which would more or less explain why it took nearly a decade to get them finalized, with many of them feeling like mature revisitations of the classics. If "Happier Than the Morning Sun" and "Little Girl Blue" were a pair of teenagers in love, "Sweetest Somebody I Know" is that couple 30 years later at its class reunion. The jazzy "How Will I Know," featuring Wonder's daughter on lead vocals the same Aisha sung about nearly 30 years ago on "Isn't She Lovely", is the gateway to the album's second half, a five-song cycle of ballads and quiet storm jams that will appease fans of Wonder's later work. Especially notable is "My Love Is on Fire," featuring a beautiful guest appearance from jazz flutist Hubert Laws, which exemplifies the other thing that makes A Time to Love the comeback album of the year: the never-ending list of celebrity cameo appearances so extensive it would make Carlos Santana and Clive Davis blush with modesty. Guest appearances from rap pioneer Doug E. Fresh, Bonnie Raitt, Sir Paul McCartney, Kim Burrell, Prince, Kirk Franklin, and India.Arie just scratch the surface of who contributed to this record. It's one Michael Jackson and one Lionel Richie cameo short from being a USA for Africa reunion. But while each artist lends his own style to the mix, the songs definitely remain 100 percent Wonder thanks to his distinctive singing and arrangements. The album begins its landing with "So What the Fuss," a chunky block of funk with a distorted bassline. It served as the lead single and was met with surprisingly little fanfare, especially since it's one of Wonder's most straight-ahead slices of funk in some time. And the album's title track serves as a fitting conclusion to the album, spreading Wonder's message of love and peace as strongly and convincingly as any other song he's ever done. On the whole, A Time to Love is the record Wonder fans have been waiting for, and the wait has more than paid off. Through exploration and balance, A Time to Love finds the two halves of Wonder's adult career finally coming to home to roost in peaceful harmony with one another, and it's one of the finest records he has done in decades.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/18/2005
  • Label: Motown
  • UPC: 602498621882
  • Catalog Number: 000240202

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 If Your Love Cannot Be Moved - Kim Burrell (6:11)
  2. 2 Sweetest Somebody I Know (4:31)
  3. 3 Moon Blue (6:44)
  4. 4 From the Bottom of My Heart (5:11)
  5. 5 Please Don't Hurt My Baby (4:40)
  6. 6 How Will I Know - Aisha Morrison (3:39)
  7. 7 My Love Is on Fire (6:16)
  8. 8 Passionate Raindrops (4:50)
  9. 9 Tell Your Heart I Love You (4:30)
  10. 10 True Love (3:32)
  11. 11 Shelter in the Rain (4:19)
  12. 12 So What the Fuss (5:04)
  13. 13 Can't Imagine Love Without You (3:45)
  14. 14 Positivity - Aisha Morrison (5:07)
  15. 15 A Time to Love - India.Arie (9:17)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Stevie Wonder Primary Artist, Organ, Bass, Harmonica, Percussion, Piano, Bongos, Chimes, Drums, Keyboards, Marimbas, Electric Piano, Tambourine, Background Vocals, Clavinet, Bells, Hand Clapping, fender rhodes, Synthesizer Bass, finger cymbals, Drum Loop, Rhythm Section, Voice Box, Hand Percussion, Moog Bass, Flexatones, Keyboard Guitar, Guitar Loops
Paul McCartney Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar
Prince Guitar
Hubert Laws Flute
Debra Laws Background Vocals
Francis Awe talking drum
Kimberly Brewer Background Vocals
Shirley Brewer Background Vocals
Oscar Castro-Neves Guitar
Swapan Chaudhuri Tabla
DeVere Duckett Background Vocals
Nathan East Bass
Kevin Edmonds Background Vocals
Lynne Fiddmont Background Vocals
Doug E. Fresh Beat Box
Richie Gajate Garcia Conga, Hand Percussion
Tony Gates Choir, Chorus
Doc Powell Guitar
Herman Jackson Keyboards, Bells
Keith John Background Vocals
Ricky Lawson Drums
Melody McCully Background Vocals
Woody Murray Vibes
Greg Phillinganes Electric Piano
Fred White Background Vocals
Barbara Wilson Background Vocals
Lamont VanHook Background Vocals
Patrick Gandy Conductor
Kenya Hathaway Background Vocals
Morris O'Connor Guitar
Conesha Owens Background Vocals
Robert A. Arbittier Overdubs
Nathan Watts Bass
Gregory Curtis Background Vocals
Andy Weiner Conductor
Mike Phillips Saxophone
Traci Nelson Background Vocals
Brian Sledge Choir, Chorus
Teddy Campbell Drums
Thomassina Atkins Choir, Chorus
Timothy Jon Johnson Background Vocals
Phillip "Taj" Jackson Background Vocals
Mabvuto Carpenter Background Vocals
Jherimi Leigh Carter Choir, Chorus
Ayrianna Cerant Choir, Chorus
Jeffrey Coprich Leader
Monique DeBarge Background Vocals
Brianna Ford Choir, Chorus
Daronn Gooden Choir, Chorus
Timothy Hall Choir, Chorus
Accalra Johnson Choir, Chorus
Desarae Johnson Choir, Chorus
Unique Johnson Choir, Chorus
Chatoya Jones Choir, Chorus
Erica L. King Choir, Chorus
Abbos Kosimov Doira
Brijee McDowell Choir, Chorus
Sebastian Mego Background Vocals, Choir, Chorus
Kristie Mingo Background Vocals
Amir Sofi Darbouka
Willie Wheaton Jr. Background Vocals
Johniesha White Choir, Chorus
Tamiko Whitsett Background Vocals
Sherman B. Wilson Choir, Chorus
LaLynda Winfield Choir, Chorus
LaShanea Winfield Choir, Chorus
LaShanique Winfield Choir, Chorus
Technical Credits
Bonnie Raitt Producer
Ralph Sutton Engineer
Stephanie Andrews Art Conception
David Blumberg Arranger
Tom Corwin Producer, Engineer
Kirk Franklin Arranger, Producer
Brian Gardner Mastering
Ricky Minor String Arrangements
Dave Reitzas Engineer
Paul Riser Arranger
Stevie Wonder Arranger, Composer, Programming, Producer, Vocal Arrangements, String Arrangements, Audio Production, Flute Arrangement, Drawing, Sequencing Arranger, Art Conception
Patrick Gandy Orchestration
Femi Jiya Engineer
Robert A. Arbittier Programming, Digital Editing
Rafa Sardina Engineer
Andy Weiner Orchestration, String Arrangements
Anthony Ruotolo Engineer
Steve Jones Programming
Josean Posey Engineer
India.Arie Composer
Gary Adante Engineer
Aaron Fessel Engineer
Kailand Morris Contributor
Heratch Touresian Programming
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 4 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(2)

4 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    a must-have for any Stevie Wonder fan

    Upbeat and funky rhythms are sure to please any Stevie Wonder fan. Similiar, yet different to his old "classic" music.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Stevie STILL Has IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I've been waiting for Stevie's new album for months and it is well worth the wait!! It is BADDDDDDD!!! All of the songs are so nice...this entire album just makes you smile as you listen to it. Stevie is so talented even after all of these years. I predict he will get a Grammy for this one.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    The master is back!

    What can I say? Stevie is the master and he is back! Every song is wonderful and better than the last or the next! Thank you Stevie for your gift.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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