Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Stevie Wonder: Conversation Peace [Motown, 1995]
Sure you can take him for granted. He's as set in his ways as Neil Young or John Updike, his lyrics complacent mush even when he's preaching against handguns or "man's inhumanity to man." But overlaying track after track alone in his studio, he's a font of melody, a wellspring of rhythm, a major modern composer. So if at some level you've heard all this before, that doesn't mean it's worn out its welcome. And the seven-minute groove-sound workout "Cold Chill" will make you check back to make sure he's ever been better. A-