on 25 February 2006
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!
on 25 October 2004
This is one of my all-time favourite albums. I bought the LP when it came out, but it's well played and scratchy and I just needed to have the CD. EVERY single track on this album is absolutely amazing and I know the words by heart to all of them. Anita has a velvet-smooth voice and seems to express her innermost emotions in her music. When I watch her "Sweet Love" video she seems to be in a trance (almost resembling the swaying of Stevie Wonder) and gives her heart and soul to every single word. No other diva that's currently around can compete with her! While Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey sing technically perfectly and reach all the high and low notes, their vocals seems to be clinical compared to Anita Baker's. I don't think she cares much about singing "perfectly", she rather feels the music and lets her feelings carry the tune. All tracks are soulful, but I particularly love the more jazzy "Been so long". Perfect music for a romantic evening, for singing along when you have a broken heart and for lifting you up after a stressful day at work. Well, actually it's a joy to listen to at ANY time... I've got 2 other albums by Anita Baker and they are good too, but 8 times out of 10 I go for this one! I just feel the songs on this album are more outstanding and memorable than the later ones. Still, her new album is on my Christmas wish list.
on 1 October 2007
This is an album that came out when I was a teenager and still at school. I hadn't heard about Anita Baker, had no idea who she was but when my older brother came home with this stuck under his arm one day and played it to me, well I just totally fell in love with it.
Every single track on here is brilliant. None of them, I repeat, none of them fall below par in any way whatsoever. There are only eight tracks on the album but they are all stars in their own right. My personal favourite is Been So Long but I love the other 7 just as much.
If you like Jazz, Soul, RnB then you absolutely have to make sure this is in your collection if it's not there already. It will be money well worth spent and you will not be disappointed. It is pure quality, nothing less.
on 4 September 2005
On its release, immediate comparisons between Anita Baker and Nancy Wilson plus Sarah Vaughan abounded. These comparisons were a compliment, of course. However, Anita Baker really is in a class all by herself.
"Rapture" is such a classy album. The difference here was that Ms Baker didn't have to alter her style to cater to a mainstream audience; instead, that mainstream audience came to her.
I remember listening to this album for the first time all those years ago - it was such a breath of fresh air. Ms Baker's unique blend of nuanced soul, adult contemporary pop and modern jazz was a stunning. The album opens with the soaring vocals of "Sweet Love" which is excellent. However, it's "You Bring Me Joy" that puts shivers down my spine. The calibre of this gorgeous track is out of this world. I'll give this one 10/10!
"Caught Up In The Rapture" is perhaps the most radio-friendly track on the album. It's a real easy, mid tempo track with a lovely, catchy chorus.
"Been So Long" is a sophisticated, jazzy track with a Sarah Vaughanesque vocal performance. There's not one duff track here and I can quite happily listen to this album from beginning to end - without skipping any tracks. The music has stood the test of time and it still sounds fresh when played today. If you haven't discovered the treasures of this album, I recommend that you give it a try - you won't be disappointed!
on 13 November 2009
i brought this superb album way back in 1986 when it was released, and still play it on a regular basis, every track is superb, my personal faves include "you bring me joy" and "mystery" its a shame she never got the recognision she deserves, like a lot of the great soul vocalists of our time.
on 3 March 2000
This album is Anita Baker at her very best. The mix of soulfull ballads and catchy songs have stood the text of time. This woman has a wonderful voice and in my opinion not enough is heard of her. A must for all album collections.
on 19 December 2001
Buy this album !
I've just seen that "Rolling Stone" magazine have this as no.36 in the list of top albums of the 1980's. I think I'll be going round Mick Jaggers house to give him a dry slap !
This is possibly the greatest album of all time (any category)never mind the 80's. There's a fight going on in my house at the moment between "Rapture" and Marvin Gaye's "Whats Going On" and they are neck and neck on points.
Guaranteed to induce goosepimples, guaranteed to set a romantic mood, guaranteed to improve your life.......... get caught up in this rapture now!
on 25 March 2007
Anita Baker has a voice like no other singer alive, instantly recognizable, full of beauty and elegance. She really knows how to make you feel a song: we feel the emotional desperation in her voice as she pleads with a lover she's wronged to return to her in "No One In The World," and we feel the joy coursing through her veins in the exuberant "Sweet Love," the song that introduced Ms. Baker to the mainstream pop audience in 1986. That song, along with three other singles, "Caught Up In The Rapture" (the ULTIMATE slow jam, bar none), "No One In The World," and "Same Ole Love," established her as a multi-format star - they all hit the top 10 on the R&B and Adult Contemporary charts and cracked the pop top 50. Even the cuts that weren't singles are terrific, with "Mystery" and "You Bring Me Joy" being my favorites. All of the songs have a soft, elegant magic, and Ms. Baker injects them with lots of soul. It's a winning combination. Although she hasn't quite achieved the same heights of fame as Whitney, Celine or Mariah, she can easily outsing any of them without having to "spice up" her vocals with lots of unnecessary, gimmicky octave-jumping and she doesn't overdo it with the vocal gymnastics. Anita is still a core artist on most "smooth jazz" stations, as is another unique and beautiful talent who came on the scene shortly before she did, Sade. Both are among my favorite artists. The only thing that annoys me about both of them is their practice of making their fans wait an eternity for their next album! (Case in point: it's been nearly four years since Sade's "Lovers Rock" came out.) Fortunately, we'll finally be seeing a new album from Anita - her first in a decade, not counting the greatest-hits CD - later this year, and the first single, "You're My Everything," is now playing on smooth jazz and urban-adult radio stations everywhere. And let me tell you, she hasn't lost one bit of the magic that made her such a big star in 1986. Get this one if you love jazzy soul, soft pop, or just great music.
on 12 October 2015
I purchased this to replace a very worn out copy of it that I have had for many years. It is a fantastic rarity in an album with every track being as brilliant as the last.
I never tire of it and have often recommended it as a great Soul Album to friends who are genuinely surprised that they have never heard of it before.
Well worth buying and definitely worth listening to. With every track being a classic its hard to pick the best one, although "No One In The World" always send chills up my spine. The whole thing runs beautifully, you put it on, press play, it starts with "Sweet Love" and goes from one great track to another and before you know it its all finished and you just press play again.
on 18 March 2009
The word rapture has a powerful sentiment behind it.This album delivers this sentiment and is truly worthy of the word 'classic'.I hope the songs need no introduction as they are all wonderful.
They say life's moments flash before your eyes when approaching the end.The breathtaking concert I witnessed Anita sing at the Hammersmith Odeon (Apollo) following the release of this album will truly be one of my moments of rapture! An experience never repeated by any other artist.That night the audience and Anita Baker fell under some kind of magic spell which has stayed with me forever.Buy this slice of jazz/soul history which defined smooth jazz before the term was even invented.