by Adam (Toronto, Canada) - Each week I preview an album (every Saturday) which I think deserves a listen to and if it"s worth to buy, I will cater for all tastes of music from R"n"B to Rock, Country, Hip hop and Pop.
My Everything - Anita Baker
Release Date: September 7, 2004
First let me just say that some of my fondest childhood memories are chillin' at home with my family with the "Rapture" album on. And as a musicfan I fell in love with the passion of her lyrical delivery - completely original, full of strength and sensuality. That combined with live jazz rhythm section equalled skill and artistry you cannot deny. That said, the title song alone is worth getting this album.
Radio needs this music desperately!!!
Anita is back and each song is flawless in her delivery. Those that already know about Anita will enjoy this immensely, and those that don't need to be educated! These pop girls need to take a lesson and learn that anyone can wail on a song, but the true magic happens when the singer's voice is in unison with the band behind her, creating a fluid harmonic force that envokes joy and hope. That's why I and many others fell in love with Anita in the first place. She is a true definition of a Songstress, and her return was long overdue.
So boy bands, forget the dance moves and pick up some instruments, and pop girls, forget the yelling and screaming and try to feel what your singing, unpopular as that may be. Then the tricks will be rooted in truth and won't sound forced or unnecessary.
Thank You Blue Note Records for bring back Ms Anita Baker to both the public and her many fans. Sure she has eight Grammys to her name BUT Anita left us way too early in her singing career. Anita shines on the title song and it is Baby Face who REALLY get Anita to open up fully both in voice and range, its a song that should be released as a single. Anita brings back the Perri Sisters, Gerald Albright and Mr. George Duke.
Nine of the ten tracks were produced live in the studio between herself and industry legend Barry Eastmond (which was wonderful to know), but like I said earlier Baker and Eastmond played it pretty safe musically and didn't experiment too much with various styles like she has done in the past. Don't get me wrong there are some great moments with My Everything but I was hoping Baker would have chosen more jazzier cuts which she brilliant at.
I am doing my PhD in a Canadian University 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, LaBelle, Whitney Houston, 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.
So, Blue Note Records thank you for this album (again). It's soooo nice to have you back Anita. Your music really does fill such a large void out there. So nice... Baker fans will find My Everything a pleasant listen and it will sell well because of the decade gap between recordings but Baker's records from the past still remain her strongest efforts.
Although the album is short, it is just simple and not overdubbed, just like her earlier records.
Highlights Of The Album:
1. You're My Everything [Live Rhythm Section] (10/10) - 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.
2. How Could You [Live Rhythm Section] (9/10) - It comes across as filler material and left no impact on this music lover whatsoever. Great love song, I almost cried.
3. In My Heart [Live Rhythm Section] (10/10) - 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 with mellow, smooth, sweet and beautiful chorus.
4. Serious [Live Rhythm Section] (8/10) - 'Serious' is the one song not written by Anita Baker is again nice enough but rather bland and nothing that captured my imagination.
5. How Does It Feel [Live Rhythm Section] (9/10)-
6. Like You Used to Do [Live Rhythm Section & Vocals] (9/10) - 'Like You Used To Do' is 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!
7. Close Your Eyes (9/10) - Love the molody, smooth, echoeing guitar sound is great
8. You're My Everything Revisited (10/10) - A Jazzy version, cute and smooth!
9. I Can't Sleep [Live Rhythm Section & Vocals, No Edit] (8/10)
10. Men in My Life [Live Rhythm Section & Vocals, Take 1] (8/10) - Good sond, you are going to love how she sings 'hush hush'!
1. You're My Everything [Live Rhythm Section]
2. How Could You [Live Rhythm Section]
3. In My Heart [Live Rhythm Section]
4. Serious [Live Rhythm Section]
5. How Does It Feel [Live Rhythm Section]
6. Like You Used to Do [Live Rhythm Section & Vocals]
7. Close Your Eyes
8. You're My Everything Revisited
9. I Can't Sleep [Live Rhythm Section & Vocals, No Edit]
10. Men in My Life [Live Rhythm Section & Vocals, Take 1]