One of the albums I would take with me on a deserted island.
The quintessential R&B treasure
John Jones | Chicago IL | 05/11/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"With the release of "Rapture" in 1986, Anita Baker singlehandedly introduced the "Quiet Storm" genre, a rich blend of jazz, pop, and soul, to the masses. Finding the likes of "Sweet Love" and "Caught Up in the Rapture" on pop radio was always a rich treat, and her popularity helped foster a taste for mature pop.Years after its release, "Rapture" is still as smooth and sweet as ever. Anita's smoky, Sarah Vaughan-influenced vocals are flawlessly showcased in a worthy set of songs set to spotless production. Songs like "No One in the World" and the uptempo "Same Ole Love" are among Baker's staples in adult contemporary radio, and jazz stations and fans alike will likely never tire of the lush and soulful "Been So Long," one of Baker's all-time classics that gives an example of the perfect scat.Elsewhere, Baker gives what is arguably her most soulful performance ever on "You Bring Me Joy," and a sultry cover of Manhattan Transfer's "Mystery" easily trumps the original. The fact that Baker still performs most of these songs in her concerts proves that "Rapture" is a sentimental treasure for many a music fan, and one listen to the record's flawless execution makes it easy to see why."
This Album Sets the Standard
Fish Cheeks | In Your Dreams | 06/20/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"While I was growing up, my mom constantly played music by Stephanie Mills, Patti LaBelle, Mikki Howard, Stevie Wonder, Donny Hathaway, Sade,and Earth Wind & Fire. Now that I'm older, my music collection is quite similiar to my mom's. In fact, she's always asking me if she could borrow my CDs. Back in the day my mom had Anita Baker's "Rapture" and now I have that in my CD collection too. Words can't describe how exquisite and pleasing this album is to my ears. All of these songs are classics and each time I hear them it feels like I'm hearing them for the first time. What I love about Anita Baker is that she has never changed her style and has stayed true. You know, there's a lot of dumb artists out there, like Mariah Carey, who want to waffle between genres- depending on what's popular at the moment- and they sound phony. Not Anita Baker. Her current music is just as classic as it was back in the day."
Fish Cheeks | 02/20/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In a world full of spiced up, digitally mastered and re-mastered electric, glossed-over albums, we should all be thankful for an album such as this. Great musicians combined with a great lady come out to make a damn near perfect album. Anita Baker made her mark with "Rapture." It left its imprint on the industry and ears of millions, who haven't recovered yet. A timeless classic, Baker single-handedly invinted the "quiet storm" genre with "Rapture," and in the process became known as one of the most adored rhythm and blues songstresses ever. Having little to nothing in common with her contemporaries who sing of love and heartache without knowing the first thing about it, one truly feels a difference in the soft, sexy, and last (but not least) relaxing voice of Anita Baker. Few artists have the control or power over their voices as she does. She uses her god-given vocals like a chiseling tool, careful to carve out just the right sculpture. And with tracks such as "Sweet Love," "You Bring Me Joy," "No One In The World," and "Same Ole Love," it becomes evident, how great of an artist she truly is."
You'll Be Raptured By Baker's Stunning Debut!
M. Edwards | Buckinghamshire United Kingdom | 09/04/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"On its release, immediate comparisons between Anita Baker and Nancy Wilson/ 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! "
Caught Up In The Rapture
douglas barton | Arlington, Va. | 01/27/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'm old-fashioned! At a time when record lables are frantically trying to force the next so-called 'Diva' upon an unsuspecting music lover I, for one, tend to 'zig while they zag'. Simply put....while everyone else is concentrating on the next darling of the Pop/Soul genre ( Jill Scott...take notes! ) I rush back to my roots and wait for all the hoopla to die down before stepping back into my local record store to be barraged once again with that 'Next Big Name!' But while other consumers pocketbooks fall victim to the Marketing/PR depts. enticing come-on's I wisely dance around those 'snake-oil' salesmen and purchase music that is destined for longevity/classics....not for a momentary pleasure. Well, for the most part I do! Although I am guilty of buying a Mariah Carey cd ( hopefully we live and learn! ). Anyway, that's how it came about to my purchasing a second copy of Anita Baker's " Rapture ". To put it simply a more succinct album title would be hard to find. I've yet to meet anyone who hasn't found this disc to be an absolute joy and in some cases an almost revelatory experience to one degree or another. Anita's voice, smokey and dangerous one moment, is innocent and yearning the very next. The first single " Sweet Love " which sets the album off on just the right note ( no pun intended! ), is at once R&B, Soul, Gospel and with just the right touch of Jazz thrown in as well. She exudes a confidence and masterful technique that I only hear in some of Jazz's greatest female singers i.e. Sarah Vaughn being the obvious parallel. Each song for that matter complements the last so well that I don't believe I've ever put this disc on without listening all the way through non-stop. It's truly that good! My personal highlight being " Caught Up In The Rapture " is a perfect example of subtle phrasing and tonal quality that I suspect you will never hear in a Toni Braxton or Whitney Houston cd! Their fine singers in their own right but they simply do not possess the emotional maturity and the musical insight that Anita so obviously does. These are songs that only a singer who is truly 'grounded' in all aspects of harmony/scales could understand and release with such awe inspiring results. No doubt we all, as music lovers, have dozens of cd's with singers emoting on the incredible joys and tragic heartache that " Love " sometimes deals us but Anita is one of those indescribable singers who makes you feel as though she's lived through these songs and is passing along some hard-earned wisdom. Definitely a cd to enjoy with a glass of wine and a broken heart. In the end while rummaging through my own 'music library' only Marvin Gaye's " Let's Get It On " comes close enough for me to equate as having as much sheer power, intensity and true passion! And ultimately rewarding the listener with an almost religious experience, whether it's your intial introduction to this remarkable disc or even, like me, your hundreth! A more emotinally draining/revelatory experience would be hard to find! After 15 years of listening to Anita Baker I find I'm still in " Rapture!! ""