Sound — 10
During the 70's, Stevie released 5 albums (Music Of My Mind, Talking Book, Innervisions, Fulfillingness' First Finale, and Songs In The Key Of Life) which many music critics consider his "classic albums". Though each of these albums has their merits, Innervisions stands out slightly above the rest. Most people know "Higher Ground" either through the Chili Peppers' cover or through radio, but every track on this album is classic. "Too High" is a funky track with some jazzy elements, "Visions" is an acoustic driven song featuring a brilliant jazzy guitar solo, "Living For The City" is a 7 minute romp about the injustices faced by black people in America, "Golden Lady" is a lovely pop song (in the good sense), "Higher Ground" ranks right with "Superstition" as one of the funkiest tracks ever recorded, "Jesus Children Of America" continues the funk where "Higher Ground" left off, "All In Love Is Fair" is a beautiful piano driven ballad, "Don't You Worry 'Bout A Thing" is a Latin-flavored track that features Stevie speaking Spanish, "He's Mistra Know It All" finishes the album off with a light-hearted piano tune that attacks the Nixon Administration.
Lyrics — 10
As a lyricist, Stevie is no Dylan. His lyrics switch between standard love songs and more political material, and if there is one weak spot on the album, it would have to be this. But he has one of best voices in music, which balances this out. He is able use his incredible range and perfect pitching to take an average lyric and lift it above and beyond. Though the lyrics aren't that great on paper, I'm going to rate this section a 10 because of the emotion he is able to get out of the lyric.
Overall Impression — 10
This, along with the rest of his "classic albums", is stuff that I think more people on this site should check out. It's even more amazing because he played most of the instruments, including drums, himself and he is able to make it sound like a tight band. If this album were lost or stolen, I wouldn't hesitate to go immediately to iTunes or my local music store and buy it as soon as possible.