Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Anita Baker - Rapture
The award winning song “Sweet Love”, the album’s first single opens the record. It went to number 97 in Australia, number 47 in the Netherlands, number 21 in Canada, number 13 in the UK, number 8 on the US Billboard Hot 100, number 3 on the US Billboard Adult Contemporary chart, and number 2 on the US Billboard R&B chart. Anita’s rich vocals are complimented by the wonderful piano and horn arrangements.
On “You Bring Me Joy”, Anita starts out smooth and low with just a simple piano accompaniment. It is an amazing slow dance song, holding close someone who brings up the happiness in you.
“Caught Up in the Rapture” is another rich song. I really like the drums on this one, very subdued but distinctive. It has a very classic R&B groove to it. As the second single, it peaked at number 51 in the UK, number 44 in New Zealand, number 37 on the US Billboard Hot 100, number 9 on the US Billboard Adult Contemporary chart, and number 6 on the US Billboard R&B chart.
The last song for the side is “Been So Long”. Like the previous songs, it too is about a relationship. But where the first three mere very much celebrations, this one is about longing and desire. It makes you wonder where her man has been. I like the scatting runs she takes on this one.
Side two begins with “Mystery”, the B-side to the second single. Its opening implies something a little different, and it does deliver a few interesting textures to the standard R&B groove.
“No One in the World” is another pronouncement of the perfection of love. You feel Anita’s conviction is her voice. I love how she holds those long notes. As the final single, it reached number 44 on the US Billboard Hot 100, number 9 on the US Billboard Adult Contemporary chart, and number 5 on the US Billboard R&B chart. The B-side was a live version of the track.
“Same Ole Love” is a sweet, reflective song. It renews the dedication to her current relationship and all those things that provide comfort. It is something everyone strives for, a not that impossible goal if you work for it. As the third single, it stalled at number 100 in the UK and number 44 on the US Billboard Hot 100, but thrived at number 8 on the US Billboard R&B chart and number 6 on the US Billboard Adult Contemporary chart.
“Watch Your Step”, the B-side to the first and fourth singles, closes the record with a mid-tempo track. It is a tale of caution to a heartbreaker. It is a nice change-up.
I had this album on cassette back in the day. What I loved about it was Anita’s confident yet controlled voice. She made it look effortless and kept the power notes from going over the top like some other big R&B divas might have. She found her own unique sound that was refreshing and timeless. The tracks do tend to tread similar water but this is clearly an area that Anita excels at. Why not stick with what you do well? This was definitely a good one for an easy listening evening or perhaps to put the stereo with the lights down low for a little snuggle time with the one you love.