Always New Directions
Peace Of Mind
Stevie Wonder's fans might have thought their favorite singer was too busy to write new music. They saw him traveling around the world and respected his humanitarian work. They wanted his music to continue, though. His fans liked his guest-starring roles on other people's albums. Those kept Stevie in the light of the music world. His fans wanted more of Stevie. They wanted the Stevie sound to once again turn their ears toward something new.
In 1995, Conversation Peace was released. This album took eight years to complete. Stevie had been writing most of the songs in the late 1980s. The songs describe what he felt about the world around him. Conversation Peace was not a summation of Stevie's career, however. He was only forty-five years old at the time of the album's release. There was a lot more music left in Steveland Morris.
Conversation Peace is as complete a statement as any work of art. It tells where Stevie has come from and where he is headed musically. The roots of his R & B sound are on each track. Stevie liked sampling different instrument sounds. This was again Stevie's innovation on Conversation Peace. Stevie's voice had never been better than it was on this album. His lyrics were solid, from-the-heart statements of human living, loving, and peace seeking. His music was different than what he'd done earlier, yet showed that he had more creativity within him.
Stevie recalled his musical style on Conversation Peace in a 1996 interview: “The only way that you can really stay innovative in music is to be in love with life. You have to live life to be innovative in music. You just have to go through different experiences. I'm not saying you know, go and hang out at some place where you can see somebody get shot in a drive-by. I'm saying you have to, you have to look at yourself over and over again. You have to look back and reflect on how you were, and look at yourself …”
In 1997, Stevie followed up Conversation Peace with Natural Wonder. Natural Wonder was recorded live during a Japanese concert tour. Stevie was able to use enough tracks to put out a double CD set. Once again, Stevie was able to show his musical genius by changing song arrangements. He played his older songs with different tempo and harmony. This gave the songs a freshness that Stevie had been looking for.