In an era of fast-food divas and ready-made starlets, finding the genuine article is often as hard as finding a needle in a haystack. Anita Baker could not have picked a better time for her return to music. After a decade-... more »long hiatus, the soulful songstress returns with her eagerly anticipated Blue Note debut, My Everything. The 10-track disc doesn't disappoint. Lush, emotive, and gorgeous are a few words that come to mind when listening to the Toledo, OH native's album. Lead single "You're My Everything" opens the album with an infectiously smooth groove that reminiscent of her classics. The album also includes "You're My Everything Revisited," a jazzy interpolation of the aforementioned single. Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds joins Baker on "Like You Used to Do." The ballad, with its warm electric guitar-accented backdrop, evokes a classic R&B sound without dating itself. Other standouts include "I Can't Sleep," and the heavenly "Close Your Eyes." If the album had any real flaws, it's that Baker's serene sound rarely wavers. Still, "My Everything" could serve as a tutorial to aspiring R&B singers on what it means to deliver music with style, class, and true artistry. --Rashaun Hall« less
In an era of fast-food divas and ready-made starlets, finding the genuine article is often as hard as finding a needle in a haystack. Anita Baker could not have picked a better time for her return to music. After a decade-long hiatus, the soulful songstress returns with her eagerly anticipated Blue Note debut, My Everything. The 10-track disc doesn't disappoint. Lush, emotive, and gorgeous are a few words that come to mind when listening to the Toledo, OH native's album. Lead single "You're My Everything" opens the album with an infectiously smooth groove that reminiscent of her classics. The album also includes "You're My Everything Revisited," a jazzy interpolation of the aforementioned single. Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds joins Baker on "Like You Used to Do." The ballad, with its warm electric guitar-accented backdrop, evokes a classic R&B sound without dating itself. Other standouts include "I Can't Sleep," and the heavenly "Close Your Eyes." If the album had any real flaws, it's that Baker's serene sound rarely wavers. Still, "My Everything" could serve as a tutorial to aspiring R&B singers on what it means to deliver music with style, class, and true artistry. --Rashaun Hall
Ed D. (edavis31) from CHARLOTTE, NC Reviewed on 6/4/2007...
Great, but not my favorite Anita Baker
Darcy K. (Darcyjo) from ROXBORO, NC Reviewed on 10/20/2006...
She's still got it....worth a listen.
Same Ol Love...but why did it take a DECADE to arrive?!
G. Mitchell | Los Angeles, CA United States | 09/15/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I own all of Anita Baker's CDs and bought this one the day it came out without evening hearing it first - like SADE and LUTHER and other singers that have their own instantly memorable "signature" sound, this is pure Anita Baker all the way - that's good...and bad. While these songs are surely listenable and pleasant in Anita's patented quiet-storm style, one wonders why it took TEN YEARS for this? The title track (and its jazzy scat reprise!), the Babyface duet, and a few others are strong and earn repeated listens, but much of this is below Anita's high standards such as Sweet Love, Angel, Giving You the Best, Been So Long, etc. But I am glad to know that a singer with as much talent, style, and grace as Anita Baker can take off a decade and then release a new CD that tops the charts - good to know there is still a sizeable audience for QUALITY MUSIC instead of thw empty, throwaway padlum that passes for Top 40 pop music today."
douglas barton | Arlington, Va. | 09/15/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Truth be known I had anxiously awaited Anita's new disc for quite some time ( along with a few million of her other loyal fans! ) and while any release from Ms. Baker is a time of celebration I must say I am having rather conflicted feelings toward " My Everything " A classic case of earnest desire looking reality square in the face.
Again, I am a huge fan of Anita Bakers previous works and still consider " Rapture " to be one of the few classic Soul, R&B discs ever released. But " My Everything " while it has its moments, simply pales in comparison to the best of what this artist has to offer. Beginning with the title track, an extremely radio-friendly song that has been playing on Smooth Jazz stations before the actual release of the cd, is pleasant and a nice way of beginning the disc but not exactly a classic in its own right. Nevertheless a nice enough tune and worthy of its presence on this disc. But problems soon arrive and disappointment also reared its ugly head. " How Could You " simply comes across as filler material and left no impact on this music lover whatsoever. Now things do ' heat up ' again with " In My Heart " a luxurious, sexy number that brings out the best in this singer and was unrepentant in its overt desires. For me easily the best song to be found on this cd. Unfortunately after hitting that high note ( no pun! ) Ms. Baker's release tends to collectively, song by song, build up speed heading directly down hill. " Serious " the one song not written by Ms.Baker is agin nice enough but rather bland and nothing that captured my imagination and " Like You Used To Do " a duet with Babyface, again pleasant enough, seemed rather forced and out of place. Plus, if you're going to have someone duet with the amazing Anita lets try to find someone who can match her amazing vocal abilities. Sadly, it certainly isn't Babyface who seems miles behind Ms. Baker in the talent pool. The rest of the disc, again competant enough and pleasant in its own small way, simply comes across as rather umm, well, nice enough but never seems to fully realize its true potential. All in all while each song poured out of my speakers it seemed as though not one really grabbed my attention and had me searching for my replay button. I kept pondering at the end of the disc, is that all there is?
Now admirers of Anita Baker may fault me for comparing this release with previous works but whats a music lover to do? After being a loyal follower for many years now I, like those loyal fans, have high expectations for what this singer is capable of and when a disc is released under her name I do expect a quality product. That's not saying that " My Everything " is a disaster, it certainly isn't that. But after being out of the public eye for quite a few years now I guess I was expecting that Anita would bring forth a disc that showcased her many talents and though her songwriting skills are, lets say competant, it seems as though she perhaps tried to do too much on this disc. And, sadly, the cd suffers because of that. Nevertheless, a fan I will remain and anxiously, yet again, find myself waiting for her next release."
How did I know I was hooked?
K. Bostic | New York, New York | 09/10/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"1. I didn't "download" this CD from itunes or anyplace else. I paid full price. I have not purchased a music CD that has not been downloaded in 3 years.
2. I started playing songs on it over and over again. The "My Everything" cut and the "My Everything-revisited" are my favs.
3. I read everything I could before the CD came out because I wanted to know the story behind the CD.
i'm 38 and hiphop is still my favorite genre of music primarily because of the beats. For so many years we have been getting this watered down R&B (exculding Ms Alica Keys and Ms. Jill Scott). I was getting plain sick of the genre...no more Luther, Sade is too infrequent with her releases. Will Downing has changed so much I don't know his music anymore. Toni Braxton seems to have fallen off the side of the earth in terms of musical direction.
Its soooo nice to have you back Anita. Your music really does fill such a large void out there. So nice..."
RPM | Bethlehem, PA | 09/21/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Music has moved on, that's true. This is no Alicia Keys-style neo-soul or over-produced Beyonce kind of album. It's classic, tasteful, and classy--all the things Anita Baker has always been. And that's fine with me, thank you very much. No, there's no "Sweet Love" (a once-in-a-lifetime song, admit it), but "How Does It Feel?" and "In My Heart" would stand up to anything from "Rhythm of Love," my favorite post-"Rapture" album.
One more thing: For Ms. Baker to still be in such fine voice after years away from recording is no less than remarkable. I'm so glad she's back--this album really reminded me how much I'd missed her particular brand of lush, polished R&B.
Can't wait for the standards album, which is supposedly coming next from Blue Note. We can only hope someone at the label has the moxie to propose a duet with Cassandra Wilson!"
Good things come to those who wait...
Miss. Hope | Lake City, Florida | 10/07/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"and I, like many other lovers of Miss. Anita's music have been waiting a long while. But it seems as if Anita is back to stay!
I admit that I was skeptical that after being away for so long, that Anita's music would be fresh enough to compete with the rest of the stuff that is out in the music world, as well as compete with the memory of her prior masterpieces. But when I heard how the first track opened, with that classic formula, I knew she had done alright.
All of the tracks stay within the limits of safety, most likely to keep the interests of her traditional listeners. However, songs like "Like You Used to Do", a duet with Mr. Babyface himself, reach out to any newcomers to draw them to the magical voice of Miss Baker. Not one song on this CD is hard to listen to, she has done a great job at holding the listeners attention.
Now that I have listened to the CD about 10 times over the past week and a half, there is no doubt in my mind that Miss. Anita Baker has returned for good. I grew up listening to this woman, I knew the words (the REAL words) to "Same Ole Love", "Rapture" and "Fairytales" long before I could understand what she was singing about. But in the past ten years understanding has come with experience & age, and repeated replays of Anita's melodies. Only GOOD music can touch a soul that way. Keep on singing Anita!