(April 11, 2022) Over the past decade, many production and remix teams have adapted soul classics to retro-funky-ish dance grooves with notable R&B vocalists on the mic. Taking on a Stevie Wonder tune in this fashion, though, requires a certain amount of bravery. For however talented and respected the singer, it’s hard for most in-the-know listeners to acclimate to different interpretations of Wonder’s works. The essence of his ‘70s and ‘80s recordings simply cannot be duplicated or paralleled.
Italian house DJ/producer duo Micky More & Andy Tee have teamed up with frequent collaborator Angela Johnson for a pleasant cover of Wonder’s 1982 funk masterpiece “Do I Do” that is, well—pleasant. As with the majority of modern dance floor covers in the retro vein, the arrangement has the basic flavor of the original recording, but is built on programming instead of live drums. And although live guitars, bass, and keys are in the mix, the overall atmosphere lacks a certain vibrance. That said, it’s hard to forget the late, great Dizzy Gillespie’s mesmerizing trumpet on Wonder’s classic. The trio of horn players on More and Tee’s remake play nicely, but fall short of capturing the magic of Wonder’s arrangements.
That brings us to Johnson’s vocal treatment—recorded across the Atlantic from More & Tee. She brings her signature blend of crisp warmth and sleek pizazz to the affair. As a prolific writer and producer on her own albums, she’s careful not to attempt emulating the distinctly fiery performance that Wonder turned in on his composition. The result: an engaging delivery that will work ideally for listeners not turned on to the original, but doesn’t have the timeless “it” factor that continues to excite Wonder fans 40 years on.
Take a First Listen to Micky More & Andy Tee with Angela Johnson on Stevie Wonder’s “Do I Do,” and let us know your take on their remake!