Feeling cocky and drunk (on one Blue Moon Ale) at a domino game with buddies on Saturday night, I burst into the scat part of Anita Baker's "Caught Up in the Rapture" (da-da-da-da-DAAAAAH....). She's been on my mind the last week. I grew up listening to her: Mom, a Beatles and CCR fan growing up (I inherited her albums), eased gently into adult contemporary in the eighties, mostly Hall & Oates, Lionel Richie, and "Ebony & Ivory," but also gobs of Baker and Basia (remember her?). It's difficult to remain objective about Baker's output between 1986 and 1990: road trips to Disney World required the diplomatic acumen to balance the proper exposure to Mom's favorites and Dad's preference for George Benson and, um, Najee (last seen befouling the only completely terrible album of Prince's career). But I've warmed to Rapture over the years; Greil Marcus be damned, it's a minor classic, anchored by a voice so willing to be caught up in the rapture that she ignores the MIDI presets and pedestrian songwriting ("Sweet Love" is impossible to sink, though). So too "Giving You The Best That I Got," Baker's biggest hit and a perfect example of what adult commitment should sound like from a middlebrow singer-songwriter.
Thanks to Thomas for writing about it sympathetically, and for reviving his excellent blog.