Going into this project, I wanted 2 main things - to explore genres I haven't explored enough, and historical albums I would otherwise likely never listen to. Listening to this album pretty much sums up every goal I had all in one, and it's great to boot. When people talk about Stevie Wonder, they often talk about him blowing them away with his best regarded work, and I don't think I quite got that feeling, but everything people love about him is on display here: the way he talks about his faith is engaging and beautiful (Heaven Is 10 Zillion Light Years Away is a stunning song); his songwriting is poignant when it needs to be with some fantastic lines and the general feeling from the album is one of both importance and joy. I think this is one that'll grow on me with time, and I can see myself revisiting it a lot - especially when I listen to more of his discography.
After a multi-year heroin binge, Clapton weined off the drug and created a surprisingly life-affirming record. I picked up this years ago on vinyl (second-hand, don't worry) and thought it was an ok bluesy album, but one I never revisited, but after listening for this project I think I'll be going back to it much more often. Christgau spoke of the first half positively, but said that the second half slips slightly and I definitely agree with that - the first half is brilliant, relaxing and incredibly fun. I'm not sure what emotion I expected to have listening to this album, but relaxation and fun weren't two that instantly came to mind, yet those were the main two I felt listening to it. I've definitely come to appreciate this album more with age as a solid bluesy album that I will likely revisit as a late-night relaxation album - I just won't think about Clapton's views on black people or scientific virus curtailing measures.