Producing and co-writing all the songs with his wife Syreeta Wright, WHERE I'M COMING FROM is the first album over which Stevie Wonder had complete creative control.
A pivotal and important album in the Stevie Wonder discography, WHERE I'M COMING FROM is an often-overlooked gem that gestures to his masterpieces of the later 1970s. Wonder was only 20 years old when he made the album, but the sophistication of the songwriting, performances, and arrangements bespeak a talent in full blossom. As the minor-key, funereal opener "Look Around" shows, Wonder was developing a rich palette of synthesizer sounds and modern production techniques to service mature, expressive songs that were far removed from the straightforward R&B of "Fingertips Pt. 2" and "Uptight (Everything's Alright)."
Wonder also begins here to stake out the territory he would soon master, with hard-edged funk anthems ("Do Yourself a Favor") and swelling, emotional ballads ("Think of Me as Your Soldier"). The Top Ten hit "If You Really Love Me" is an organic composition that boasts the elasticity of phrasing Wonder is known for, while "Never Dreamed You'd Leave in Summer" is the album's most heartfelt moment. Released in 1971, a year before the seminal MUSIC OF MY MIND, WHERE I'M COMING FROM lays the foundation for Wonder's work to come, yet is a superb slice of forward-looking Motown soul in its own right.
Record Collector (magazine) (p.114) - 5 stars out of 5 -- "This is the album that began the tidal wave of brilliance based upon the foundation of Wonder's excellent production values....It bubbles with creativity and excitement..."