Anita Baker, Rapture

75 Essential Albums – Day #62 Anita Baker

Here goes with day 62 of my countdown of 75 Albums that in my opinion should have a place in everyones music collection.  They are not in any particular order though the top 10 will be my personal take on the top 10 albums ever released.  You might be surprised at some of my picks and some of my omissions.  Feel free to chime in with your comments and let me know if you love (or hate my choices).

Anita Baker – Rapture

It has been a busy week and as a result I missed a couple of entries so today and tomorrow you will be getting a double helping.  Today’s second offering is another soulful late night classic for lovers.  Rapture is the second album by the American vocalist Anita Baker. It was released in 1986, and became her breakout album, selling over 8 million copies worldwide and earning her two Grammies. The album’s first track, “Sweet Love”, was a top 10 Billboard hit and won a Grammy Award.

At the time of it’s release Baker was in the midst of a contract legal battle but none of this came across in an album that exudes an aura of dimmed lights and romantic introspection.  Rapture is vocally stunning, Baker has what must surely be the sexiest, most soulful voice you have ever heard.    Her voice is smooth and seductive, delightfully emotional it feels like a warm summer breeze caressing your neck on a lovely warm evening.

The songs are emotionally rich  blends of  jazz and soul on lovely ballads like “Sweet Love,” “You Bring Me Joy” and “Been So Long.”  The album as a piece is deep and satisfying, it exudes a passion that makes you want to lay back, close your eyes and let it wash gently over you.  Whilst the songs are almost invariably love songs the closing track “Watch Your Step” is an edgy uptempo R&B number that warns an errant lover “You better watch your step/You’ll fall and hurt yourself one day.”   It is a closing note that reminds you that there was more to come from Baker.  Baker reportedly said of the song:  “The last thing that people hear from you should be something to stir your emotions, to shake you up. I don’t like to leave people relaxed. I like to start off relaxing them and then build up to some sort of crescendo.”

This is a lovely album, one that took Baker from obscurity to stardom overnight.  It is another ‘late night’ album.  Curl up on the sofa with your lover, share a glass of wine and let Anita take you on an emotional journey.

As always thanks for dropping by my blog.  if you like what you read please hit the like button or leave a comment.  If you don’t like what you read then please leave a comment explaining why 🙂

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About The Sound of Summer

Hi, I am Alan. I live in Broadstone, Dorset with my wife, Shirley, my son, Ryan and two dogs called Bailey and Jasper. I have recently retired after working in the Armed Forces and in Public Service since 1977 so I now have a bit more time to do the things I love. Music is a huge part of my life and always has been. I have a broad taste in music and can find something to enjoy in most styles of music. I have always been attracted to music which has something to say, is outside the mainstream and is perhaps a bit rebellious. I guess my early influences were late 1970's Punk and new wave bands, especially those who came out of Northern Ireland where I grew up. I loved Stiff Little Fingers, The Undertones, Rudi, Starjets etc but also bands like The Ramones, The Clash, The Jam and so on. I like singer songwriters including Van Morrison, Springsteen, Neil Young & Bob Dylan and in recent years I have become more interested in folk and acoustic music but I also love the sort of high drive energetic Folk/Punk music delivered by bands like The Levellers, Leatherat, Ferocious Dog and many others who frequent the UK Festival scene. I have long since lost the desire to spend my holidays laying around in the sun and these days am much more likely to be found in a muddy field somewhere in the UK during the festival season.

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