Very few of the songwriters whose careers I've looked into have received as universally high praise as Stevie Wonder. But, apart from a few high spots, his music fails to bowl me over the way it seems to have done to so many others.
I wonder whether the huge ( and at the time deserved ) accolades Stevie received as a blind child prodigy, and the label "12-year-old genius" stuck on him by Motown Records as a marketing tool, has simply stayed with him throughout his adult life, whatever the quality of his output.
Not surprisingly for someone so young, most of his early hits for the label were written for him, although he collaborated on some. He became a cog in the Motown hit machine until 1971, when he took control of his art and began producing more socially aware output, culminating in the classic SONGS IN THE KEY OF LIFE album in 1976.
Stevie is undoubtedly a highly gifted songwriter, who has overcome all the handicaps that life has handed to him ( he has said that his blindness was a blessing ) to reach international stardom.
For me, he never quite lived up to his early billing as a genius. His life, nevertheless, has been a triumph.