I love music.
Sometimes it’s the songs that get me… and sometimes it’s the artist.
Anita Baker is one of my favorite artists and not without reason:
Her voice is so smooth and sexy
and warm… so warm I wish I could curl up in it.
Ms. Baker just brings a sensual, stirring quality to every note she sings…
I’m the sort of person who falls in love with an album and listens to it on instant replay for weeks and even months on end…
I’ve come to know every instrumental and ad-lib on her ‘Rapture’ and ‘Best of Anita Baker’ albums…
A few of my favorite songs on those albums:
· You bring me joy: Her voice starts on this track like a warm spring breeze… you know the kind when you’re in a sundress and some cute sandals without a care in the world… the kind when you just met somebody nice and there are vibes and you see it actually going somewhere. “When I loose my way, your love comes smiling on me” Times when you remember someone and just smile… when you find pleasure in the mundane just because that person is there to share it with you. “I love you…cos you’re the finest thing I’ve seen in all my life”… Times when you see beauty in someone even when they don’t see it in themselves…
· You’re my Everything: “Got the sun in the morning I got the moon at night… I got your arms around me everythings all right…I just want to say that you’re my everything.” There’s so much story and joy and character in her voice… it’s the voice of a woman who has seen… a woman who has loved and lost… who knows exactly what it feels like. I couldn’t care less if she writes her songs or not… but I can just picture her making adjustments to the song as she records it… adding those little ‘scatty’ things she does… more ad-libs… taking it higher. I first heard this song in Nigeria. It brings back good memories… of my step sister who never got the lyrics of any song right and butchered this song till it was almost unrecognizable… very good memories.
· Giving you the best that I got: I love this song because she doesn’t say that she’s giving him the best that there is… just the best that she’s got. I read somewhere that love isn’t about loving a perfect person… but loving an imperfect person perfectly. I agree cos sometimes we get so caught up in the trivialities that we forget the essence of love… sometimes it’s about being able to love another ‘in spite of’
· Sweet Love: “With all my heart I love you baby, stay with me and you will see, my arms will hold you baby never leave cos I believe I’m in love… sweet love… hear me calling out your name, I feel no shame… don’t you ever go away, it’ll always be this way”
‘I’m in love… I feel no shame… I’m in love’ My favorite line of the entire song… I think that’s how it’s supposed to be… really. There should be no shame…
· No one in the world: ‘I look back on all those good times that we once shared… ‘
This one’s reminiscent… remembering someone you loved or genuinely cared about…and the good times. Ms. Baker’s begging for it quite literally: ‘Please take me back… baby I can’t go on without you… I’ll do whatever it takes to get you back with me again… I realize I need you here in my life’ The song is about mistakes and second chances, lost love and all it entails. No one in the world is so beautiful I can’t even explain. Her voice starts out really calm and sweet and mellow, but as the intensity of her emotions grows… so does her voice… it’s almost an ‘and I’m telling you I’m not going’ moment. If I was the guy she’s wants this much… if she could sing me this song just once a week… I’d take her back and adore her for the rest of my life… yeah, that’s the power of this woman’s voice.
· I love you just because: Not because he’s tall or handsome or rich or smart or generous… she loves him ‘just because’. Her voice on this track is so full…
“You’re a diamond in my mind… a precious gem to me, you’re so nice to have around… it’s amazing loving you, I’m doing things I never thought I’d do” This woman sings of ‘old love’… you know that love our grandparents and great grandparents used to have… the love that came before prenuptial agreements and separate bedrooms (although I’m aware valid arguments can be made for both
· Rapture: “I’m caught up in the rapture of love… nothing else can compare while I feel the magic of you…” When Anita Baker sings it, I feel like I can still let go… even after everything… to be ‘caught up in the rapture of love’. This is probably the song that everybody knows… there are elements of whimsy in this song… her voice is just so… ahhhh.
· Body and Soul: This song makes me wish I was a ballerina… the delicacy and intricacy of the dance almost captures the beauty of this song… almost.
· I apologize: This is probably my favorite Anita Baker song… my shoulders automatically shrug in pleasure everytime I hear it. Her voice, the lyrics, the background… it’s almost too much. It’s one of those songs I can picture being played in a Starbucks somewhere in Nova Scotia… a song that’ll make you want to order one more cappuccino… a song that you’d not mind staying a few minutes later even though your lunch break is over and your manager is an ***, you can’t leave just yet cos you have to listen till it’s completely over. If I was a singer… I’d sing this song. If I was an actor… I’d act this song. If I was a couturier… I’d make this song. If I was a painter… I’d paint this song. I read somewhere that “I love you” and “I’m sorry” are the most powerful phrases in the English language. I agree… and from the way she sings it… I think Anita Baker does as well. “When the road gets rough you say things you should not say… I never meant to treat my baby that way”. A couple of my friends think I have the ‘gift of gab’ and can talk myself out of most things… but this is probably one of the few instances where I’d let a song speak for me… I would play this song if I hurt someone I really cared about… cos it sings better than anything I could say. I’d die a happy woman if I could hear Anita Baker sing this song just once in my lifetime.
I would do an Uzo on this and tell you to send me your email addresses if you want these songs… but it might be easier for you to youtube them. However, if you’re gonna get fired at work for doing that… then I’ll send it to you( the only compromise is that I’ll expect a little ‘grease’/ ‘oil’/ ‘pepper’/ ‘lettuce’… all man needs to survive… lol)