Go to a bookshop (or online) and go to the music section. There will be a number of publications that will endeavour to depict the best albums of all time. On some occasions, this album will feature. Well, I’m of the opinion that this is one of the greatest albums of the 20th Century.
2006 marks the 20th anniversary of the original, so it’s an appropriate time to outline why ‘Rapture’ is regarded in my book as a truly great recording.
Simply, it’s a perfect production. Do not be put off by the fact it is only 8 tracks long clocking in around 40 minutes. Sometimes less is more! Also each song last around 5 minutes and when originally released on vinyl, there wasn’t the space to fit the same amount of tracks that a digital disc can with hold.
Anita Baker was known on a small scale following her debut ‘The Songstress’ and accumulated a fan base in America and Europe, but when signing to Elektra Records, her debut brought the little lady with the big voice to the masses. ‘Rapture’ opens with ‘Sweet Love’, a signature song of hers, and Anita shows the versatility of her voice, from the low whispery notes (a lead Toni Braxton later followed) before taking the listener to a vocal climax by using her higher register which posses both power and beauty. ‘You Bring Me Joy’ once again demonstrates that God-given vocal quality, and ‘Caught Up In The Rapture’ is a soul classic. ‘Mystery’ is a personal Baker favourite which is a fine arrangement that incorporates passion and intensity that so few vocalists are graced with. ‘No One In The World’ is stunning, and ‘Been So Long’, ‘Same Ole Love’ and ‘Watch You Step’ only prove this albums worth.
IN 2005, I was fortunate to see Anita Baker in concert at her one night only engagement at the Royal Albert Hall, London, and she sang all 8 songs from this album. Hearing and watching this very talented lady performing an album that has become such an important component in my musical repertoire was sheer joy, and I cannot recommend this album enough. The recently released live album ‘One Night Of Rapture’ recorded during the 1986 tour is also worth a listen, just to believe that Anita Baker is a gifted vocalist who deserves recognition.
Anita Baker epitomises the female vocalist with gusto! If you are yet to hear this amazing album, then send this straight to “Your Basket” and proceed to “checkout” and allow yourself to be caught up in the rapture of Anita Baker!