Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Stevie Wonder: Fulfillingness' First Finale [Tamla, 1974]
What made Wonder's last two albums so gorgeous was the carefree indecorum of the ballads, which broke the rules with supremely indulgent self-confidence and only became more beautiful as a result. But this time the slow ones are less carefree than aimless. Only "They Won't Go When I Go" gets lost altogether, and most reveal substantial charms in the end, but we really shouldn't have to look so hard for them. The two great cuts, meanwhile, get across mostly on momentum--"You Haven't Done Nothin'," about "the nightmare/That's becomin' real life," and "Boogie On Reggae Woman," about boogieing on. A-