Stevie Wonder

Someday at Christmas

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With Someday at Christmas, Stevie Wonder applies his inimitable vocal technique to yuletide songs, some familiar, some not, with predictably successful results. In the title song he yearns for a Christmas when "Men won't be boys/playing with bombs like kids play with toys," striking a plaintive tone not usually found on Christmas albums. Although he is hopeful that the day will come, he sings that it may not happen any time soon. The song seems eerily prescient in light of the chaotic year that would follow, Christmas 1967, when this record was released.

Other high points include his joyous reading of "Little Drummer Boy," with its steadily building martial beat, and chestnuts like "Silver Bells" and "The Christmas Song," which Wonder delivers with total assurance, as well as a palpable sense of fun. He even brings a measure of soul to more sentimental numbers like "One Little Christmas Tree" and "Twinkle Twinkle Little Me." The album ends on an up note in "What Christmas Means to Me," which invokes the bumping bassline of the Capitols' "Cool Jerk" and features a happy harp solo from Wonder.

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