Today’s POP RESCUE from a uncertain fate, is the 1986 eight track second album Rapture by Anita Baker.
The album opens with the brilliant hit second single Sweet Love – an 80s staple to any compilation, although it was the only one of her tracks to land in the UK’s top 50 singles (it reached #13). And it’s a fantastic song. Perfectly singalong, and Anita’s vocals and songwriting shine here, all held together with some bouncy piano.
Up next is You Bring Me Joy, which is a sympathetic follow-on from Sweet Love, with piano and Anita’s vocals leading the way. It’s here, where I first hear it – a familiar sound – the closeness of Shara Nelson‘s vocal style to Anita’s.
That comparison continues in Caught Up In The Rapture, the third single from the album, and it’s is a smooth, slinky track. It feels quite 70s in a way, but Anita’s vocals make light work of it, and it fits here perfectly.
Been So Long is the half-way mark on this album, and this is one of two tracks penned solely by Anita. It’s more up-beat, but in keeping with the rest of the album.
Opening with what reminds me of a telephone call sound, and the occasional sound that reminds me of an owl, is Mystery, a slow tempo ballad about a broken relationship. There’s some lovely warm vocal harmonies here, and a chorus that musically reminds me melody-wise of Eddie Holman‘s hit, Hey There Lonely Girl.
Single No-one In The World is a more upbeat track, and one that’s reasonably catchy too. Having said that, this track did not chart in the UK.
Same Ole Love is a pretty good strong track. It’s upbeat, but at times she vocally reminds me of a jollier Annie Lennox. Sadly, that likeness at the time, didn’t help the single when it was released in the UK in 1987, when it reached only #100.
The album closes with the lead single from the album, and Anita’s second solo-penned track, Watch Your Step, which weighs in at about 5 minutes long, and acts as a great ending to this short album. As the track fades out, you hope that there’s just one more… but there isn’t.
Anita Baker’s vocal power is phenomenal, and it’s easy to see how she grabbed the attention that she so deserved. My only fault, is that the album feels short. It measures in at 38 minutes.
Short but sweet. Give it a spin!
Where is Anita Baker now?
Anita Baker continues to record and perform, and has seen much greater success in her native USA. Whilst her next two albums performed better in the UK, she has never beaten the success of her Sweet Love single in the UK – her only Top 50 single.
After record label reshuffles, she has been busy recording an album over the last few years, which has no confirmed release date.
POP RESCUE REVIEW
- POP RESCUE 2014 RATING: 5 / 5
- 1986 UK CHART POSITION: #13, certified Platinum, and won 2 Grammys.
- POP RESCUE COST: £2.99 from an eBay seller.