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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Rapture

Anita Baker

1986

Rapture

Album Summary

Rapture is the second album by American vocalist Anita Baker, released in 1986. This became Baker's breakout album and earning her two Grammy Awards. The album's first track, "Sweet Love", was a top 10 Billboard hit in addition to winning a Grammy Award. The music video for the track "Same Ole Love" was filmed at Baker's Keyboard Lounge.

Wikipedia

Rating

2.92

Votes

3765

Genres

  • Soul
Reviews
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5

“Rapture” by Anita Baker (1986) More great music out of Detroit. Anita Baker is a gem, bringing the serious listener a classic taste of R&B, no matter what mood you’re in. Her voice is beautiful, instantly and effortlessly moving from soulful resonance to piercing wail, kind of like your heart, if you’re human. Backing vocals and instrumentals exquisitely performed and mixed, this is an extraordinarily well produced collection of love songs. Delicate hand on the reverb. Great separation and depth. But the voice. The voice. I just bought this album on iTunes and put in on loop. Leave me alone for a couple hours. 5/5

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4

1001 albums you must hear before you die and it’s day 5!! To anyone that isn’t familiar, I have given myself the challenge of giving my own personal take on each and every album listed in the book 1001 albums you must hear before you die, a book by Robert Dimery. I found this book one day in 2016 in Barnes and Noble, and impulsively bought it. Since then, I’ve felt challenged by it every time I would flip through it out of boredom. I consider myself a music nerd but man, there’s a lot of music within 1001 albums. If I listen to every single album without missing a day, it will take me close to three years to finish. AND IM HERE FOR IT!! Without further ado, I got a MONSTER of an album to share with you all! Anita Baker’s 8 million copies sold, 2 Grammy winning sophomore album, The Rapture. Released quietly in 1986, this fucking album was a phenomenon within itself! I won’t sit here and try to act like I knew all about Anita Baker in 1986, when I was four years old, and quite frankly, when I was randomly generated this album to listen to I was a little intimidated... I LOVE QUIET STORM MUSIC! What is quiet storm music? Well, to me, it’s mood setting music. It’s baby making music, it’s ambiance music to fall peacefully to sleep to. It’s music you play after a break up or discovery of a new love. Quiet storm music is calming and can cater to any mood and that’s why I love it so much. Anita Baker had a hard life. Her mother abandoned her early on at 2 years old, she had to live through the civil unrest of the 1960’s, her foster parents died when she was twelve and she grew up in Detroit on top of all of that. Yikes. But there’s an emotion in her voice that I can’t describe any other way than as “pleading”. Not begging, per say, but an emotion that says HERE I AM! I MADE IT THROUGH! NOW LISTEN TO ME! RIGHT NOW! She kept her dream of being a top notch singer and performer and was recruited to join a funk band named Chapter 8, where she met Michael J Powell and boy, let me tell you, they mixed better than tea and sugar! The production and arrangement that Michael J Powell birthed into this project is so, sooo good! Every instrument is a star on every song. The band never took a day off on any of the eight tracks. The bass? Deep, funky and quite frankly... Superb. The drums? Sampled heavily by the likes of everyone from Jadakiss to Mac Miller. It’s impressive how influential Anita Baker has been to Hip Hop, my very first love. Oh yeah, Strings, horns, piano? Sharp as a razors edge. So many songs have since been sampled by other innovators like Ice Cube, A Tribe Caller Quest, Drake and everyone in between. Jeez. Anita Baker broke out with this album in a big way, and so much more was to come in the future for her that it’s hard for me to not visit her next releases (looking at you Giving You The Best That I’ve Got) .. until the generator Gods bestow them upon me! It’s tough to resist because I know there’s gold sprouting like flowers in her repertoire that I already subconsciously know... My most favorite song is Same Ole Love (365 Days) It is upbeat, the bass slaps SO hard, and the chorus is so catchy. My second favorite is the title song, Sweet Love. It’s the epitome of Quiet storm music.. 80’s contemporary R&B. You could still hear the melodies now as if you were in a ghostly memory of an old rusted and abandoned K-Mart of your childhood, still playing Muzak in the changing rooms .. If you can imagine it. Remember Muzak? I’m definitely old enough to remember! To be completely fair, I won’t rank any other songs because they are all crafted so well, that I may change my mind during the many play throughs that I plan on having in the future. PLEASE share your thoughts and memories of these masterpieces in Quiet Storm style music. I can still hear the DJ’s soothing my soul with their calming dialogue before they cue up the next song. Diana Ross once sang the lyric “Im Coming Out!” ... Anita Baker said hold my beer y’all. Damn... Much respect. Last, but not least, albums like this make me excited to hear acts like Sade, Luther, Brian McKnight, Teddy P, Smokey, Babyface and more... Even more. Much love, thanks for reading. Music heals. 🙏✌️

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3

Adult Contemporary. It’s only for adults. Don’t you dare listen to this kids, it’s for the adults. This is the music that’s playing on a paint stained boom box in your neighborhoods open garage. It’s a hot Sunday afternoon in early September. Your neighbor’s dad has half their Chevy in pieces in the driveway and he’s covered in oil stains. He’s smoked a pack of cigs and crushed a 12 pack of Miller highlife before the late games kicked off. This is the album he’s listening to while he curses at the old truck. I haven’t listened to it yet (or checked that it exists) but I know Anita Baker has a great Christmas Album. 3/5. Good to know Baker.

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2

Very special voice. But not my style.

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3

Comparing R&B here to the 60s, it is night and day. Nina and Aretha in the 60s make you feel something. Anita’s album has a strong vocal performance with perfect production, but it takes itself too seriously and ultimately feels lifeless. Nothing to hate, but it hardly goes beyond an average score for an R&B record.

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2

While Anita Baker has a nice voice and these songs are perfectly fine, I don't find anything revelatory about this album. I can't say I've ever thought "I'd like to hear an Anita Baker song now" or ever heard one of the hits from it and thought "Wow! What a great song!" The chime-y keyboard sounds, along with some of the other production, place it squarely in the 80s soft-pop genre, and it's unfortunately mostly forgetable.

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5

Ultimate smooth R&B

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5

I'm a sucker for eighties soul production. This album was fantastic on that alone. Add in bakers vocals it was a homerun

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5

Sounds lovely. 9

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5

Chill. Good. Understated. Feels familiar. Morning vibes.

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5

A 4 or a 5. Oh what the hell

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5

Mellow

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5

Это полный восторг!

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5

Great album!

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5

Absolutely blown away by Anita's beautiful voice. This old school RnB was such a breath of fresh air and it will be in heavy rotation for me.

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5

10/10 based af

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5

After Murder Ballads on one day and noise rock the next, the 1001 Album Gods took mercy on my ears with a quiet storm of perfect 80s soul. This was just the musical hug I had no idea I was needing. The production is spot on. This is music for a romantic evening in a swanky blue-lit nightclub sipping on a cocktail as the conversation grows more and more intimate. Sax-forward and butter-smooth, RAPTURE is an unexpectedly wonderful addition to my night.

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5

Ahhhhhhh, what a voice! Sweet and smooth like silky honey. Released just as I was starting college, this seemed like music for old people to me. I guess I'm old now because it just sounded great today. A genuine treat.

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5

I loved this. Anita's voice is so beautiful and soulful.

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5

Sweet, sweet smooth 80s R&B. Love this stuff. Best tracks are the ones with Freddie Washington on bass. That guy grooves. Saddened to read that Don Myrick, who was in the original Earth, Wind & Fire horn section and the sax soloist on 'You Bring Me Joy' was murdered by a police officer who mistook his lighter for a weapon. In better news, I read that Anita Baker has regained the rights to her music so fingers crossed all her records will be available for streaming soon.

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5

Phenomenal. I've always loved her voice and her music.

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5

Well that was sublime 🥰 Perfect for an evening curled on the sofa in front of a fire with the love of your life, with a glass or two of your favourite tipple. Lovely

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4

Really fun, should check out some her other stuff

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4

Beautiful voice, I wish that I had paid more attention in the 80's

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4

Fav: Sweet Song, Been So Long

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4

Un bon album qui s’ecoute bien en background. Elle a une belle voix 4*

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4

Classic R&B sound. I didn't really listen to this in the "idea" setting (I was at work), but Baker's powerful voice and the songs' melodies still were readily apparent to me.

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4

Classic. So good.

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4

Not gonna lie I didn't pay that much attention to this. But it was pretty good. 7

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4

good 80s r&b. 8/10

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4

I really liked this one. Not my genre but like Isaac Hayes I learned maybe it is.

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4

most of it was not on spotofy but liked what I heard

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4

Great

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4

When I was 15, my uncle gave me a cassette of this album for Christmas. As a proper Smiths-listening weirdo of the mid ‘80s, I really didn’t get it, nor did I have an interest in getting it. I obviously wasn’t mature enough for this kind of music at the time, but I can say that I appreciate it now. This is classic R&B mood music of the old school. Baker’s vocals are immaculate and the production is flawless. This is a great album to relax with. Favorite tracks: “Sweet Love,” and “Caught Up in the Rapture.”

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4

July 20, 2021 Her voice is beautiful, and there are songs I like on here. An easy listen, although not my preferred genre(s). Great ambiance.

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4

Gran voz, gran instrumentación y duración corta. En cuanto lo escuchas, percibes los 80. Mood: mellow

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4

Really beautiful album. I will give Anita Baker more of a listen.

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4

Definitely a solid pop album

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4

TIL: Quiet storm is a subgenre of R&B — and I’m lovin’ every minute of it.

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4

What a voice.

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4

Great voice and Sweet Love is a brilliant song. Much of the rest of the album washed over me. No standouts but I enjoyed it. 3.5 stars. I'll round up to 4

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4

Dance floors and neon lights, Anita Baker's 'Rapture' is soulful pop with a tinge of R&B. 1980s pop production called for reverb-heavy drums and hall vocals, all accompanied by a simple 4/4 beat - this album delivers just that, providing some predictability. However, Baker's vocals is graceful and soulful, fitting the musical description of what the music wishes.

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4

Ahhh 80s-90s sex music. Nothing bad to say about it except that the full album wasn't on spotify and out of order on youtube so I probably didn't get the intended listening experience

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4

“An acquired but enduring taste.” Smooth.

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4

Always enjoy her voice great collection of songs

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4

This album was everywhere in ~1987 - as a teen into hard rock at the time it's safe to say I ignored it. :) ...and while it's still not necessarily my favourite [it's a bit smooth for my personal tastes] for what it is, it does sound freaking fantastic. Anita Baker is a great singer who didn't necessarily sound like anyone else but still was very accessible. Maybe it was her slightly-lower register or husky timbre; it definitely sits above others for me in the genre (contrast with wailing soprano vocalists of the day that I definitely still don't care for) and despite a general same-ness to the album, it's short enough (~38 minutes) to not really drag much at all. Again on a personal level, it would have been nice overall to hear more of the musicians/instruments reaching a bit - it's a very "safe" album musically which no doubt was the intent. If you're more into any instrumental flights of fancy over vocals, like me you might knock it down a few pegs. Having said that, this is objectively an excellent soft-soul album. 7/10 4 stars

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4

Wow. Still a winner

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4

Beautiful voice, soulful music. Good album!

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4

I bought this at the time and enjoyed it a great deal at the time. I rarely feel the urge to hear it these days but it's still a good album with plenty to offer if you're in the mood. One of those One Album Artists, though, at least in terms of commercial success in the UK.

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4

This album was familiar and soothing. Anita Baker’s voice is a treat and the easy-listening style of the music felt like a gentle massage. I think I prefer this silky delight mixed with some variety of other artists, as the album as a whole felt just a little under-seasoned for me.

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4

This brought me back to my days of working as an office temp in the early 90s with smooth adult contemporary radio stations so often playing in the background. "Spending the workday with your favorites from the seventies, eighties, and today!" It was never music I chose, but it was always music that was there. And today I realized I kind of miss it. Although it's never been in my nostalgia collections, it's been long enough that it was a pleasure to listen to and it took me back in time in a good way. It feels like a lavish 80s soap opera with elegant ladies in sparkling evening dresses. It's a grown-uppy kind of thing our society doesn't seem to do anymore. Is there still sumptuous music like this being made nowadays? Although this was yesterday's background music, this album has stood out in this project as something special!

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4

Very cool. I’ve heard so many of these songs before as a youth. Same Ole Love is a hidden banger.

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4

Beautiful voice

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4

franchement un kiff sauf à la fin

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4

nice, pop-y, I like it. short album as well so an easy listen.

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4

4/5. Hard not to fall in love with this album. Smooth and amazing.

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4

So cool and sensual

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4

Soultastic. She'd a lovely voice, and were I trying to seduce a woman in the 1980s I might even have put this on the stereo. Instead, it is the 2020s, and such things are probably "a bit cringe". So I'll listen to it once. Appreciate her voice and then move on with my life.

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3

Couldn't listen to the whole thing, but what was there was good.

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3

I preface this by admitting that my ears know nothing about R&B, just that sometimes I enjoy it. That said, this feels by-the-numbers, but the numbers are about twice as big as usual. Very pleasant listening.

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3

Only about half of this album was available on Spotify. Fun 80s R&B

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3

Pretty good. I dont listen to this music that often but I enjoyed it

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3

Okay, I went into this album expecting to dislike it because of my general disdain for Jim Morrison. Honestly, I thought it was a pretty fun album. Morrison's attempts at poetry bog it down at times, but the music is great throughout. 4/5

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3

Very different than anything I've listened to. While I can objectively say her voice is amazing, this is not my kind of music.

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3

2.5

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3

Le son des années 80!

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3

I'm normally not much of a consumer in the whole chanteuse vein though I certainly recognize vocal talent. This was definitely a cut above though. The lyrics though solid were just not that interesting.

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3

Not really my thing, but not overdone diva-style antics which I can sometimes find grating. A pleasant background listen. Fave track - "Sweet Love" is undeniably iconic

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3

Soul. Coñazo.

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3

Beautiful

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3

1986, Soul rnb, gutes Album, gefällt mir besser als mama's gun, starke 3

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3

SWEET LOVE is a 4

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3

Rhythms that almost make you forget you’re slowly being lulled to sleep in the warm embrace of the laundromats heat and wafting scent of fabric softener.

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3

6/10.

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3

Recognized one of the tracks ("Same Ole Love"), otherwise I had no clue about this artist.

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3

"I won't be neglected I won't be denied The pleasure of your kisses The pleasure of your smile" (Been so long) ¡Qué voz! Por lo menos terminamos bien esta semana <3

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3

meh

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3

Such a wonderful change of pace. Really lovely to listen to while doing school work.

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3

great voice, some of the tracks just felt a little lacking in energy and could have used something to push their sound more. not bad though, 3/5

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3

Steengoeie zangers! Maar niet direct een album dat ik opnieuw zou opleggen

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3

Nice little album. Basically Smooth Radio manifested in album form. I knew Sweet Love but none of the others. Best song: Same Ole Love.

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3

I somewhat liked it. Very pleasant to listen to while working. But not something I'd listen to with full attention.

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3

Interesting album cover, makes you wonder what instruction the photographer gave during the shoot. Lovely album.

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3

R&B music sung by a powerful voice, this album sits along side of its contemporaries in Tina Turner, Sade, Whitney Houston & others. Unfortunately, Baker doesn't display the same range or creativity that these others do. As a result, while solid, this album comes up short when compared to classics.

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3

Not my jam. Feels very 80's.

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3

It was okay.

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3

Ok

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3

Not quite my thing, but it is a powerful soul album. Anita's got chops.

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3

Good R&B album....unfortunate that Spotify doesn't have 3 of the songs so couldn't give it a proper listen

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3

What a great voice, and recognized Sweet Love. All and all a nice album to listen to. I'm giving it a 3 only because it is a bit sedate for my liking.

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3

R&B, pretty good

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3

Anita Baker sure can sing. Beautiful voice. The mid 80s adult contemporary production is what makes this a 3 out of 5 for me. Not really my cup of tea even if I really enjoyed certain touches like a fun bass line here, great sax solo there. Won't be revisiting anytime soon but I'll definitely always remember Baker's voice.

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3

I imagine this is an album that was played on many occasions in the late 1980s to signal it was time for sexy times. The slinky bass and emphatic saxophone layers say “Hey there, are you thinkin’ what I’m thinkin’?” Ms. Baker’s mesmerizing vocals say “Yes, let’s get down.” According to expert resource cosmopolitan magazine (2017), the average sex session lasts 19 minutes, including foreplay. Rapture clocks in at 38 minutes…plenty of time.

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3

Good R&B. Not my typical genre, so nothing really stood out to me.

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3

Beautiful voice, and a great soul album.

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3

can’t listen not on spotify- gave avg rating

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3

Not my deal, but nice voice and production

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3

Baker's Rapture helped define contemporary R&B from the mid-80s onwards. She's a sexy singer, and the use of jazz and synth accommodates for smooth, easy listening that gives off calm 80s nostalgia. "Sweet Love" and "Captured in the rapture of love" are my favorites, and other first side tracks appealed, but I felt the tracks sounded too much like each other, and hardly contrasted each other in subject matter or technique. But that's fine. It's not a masterpiece, and her fanbase tends to hit a very targeted audience, but this album is a soothing, luxurious listen, and that's enough for me to give a re-listen in the future.

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3

Album was not on Spotify apparently due to the artist's request. I was able to track it down and give most of it a listen

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3

I do enjoy this kind of soul music sometimes. It's a little cheesy in places, but still some great tunes

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3

Exquisit disc de r&b/pop amb producció totalment vuitentera, però que en aquest cas encaixa com un guant amb les composicions de fàcil escolta, on destaca la poderosa veu d'Anita Baker, que va ser arribar i moldre, però que endavant mai va aconseguir arribar a les cotes, de qualitat i ventes, de 'Rapture'

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3

Nice voice. Not my style music hard to be objective.

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3

Really nice beautiful album. Soothing voice. Really pleasant front to back

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3

Sweet Love is a good song, rest of the tracks are ok, but slightly forgettable

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3

definitely not bad but far from my tastes.

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3

Canta muy bien. Un disco agradable. 3.

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3

Mf doom samples the first track. That was sort of the highlight for me. I do miss the time when big pop diva albums sound like Sega genesis tracks

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3

Soul. Ni fu ni fa.

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3

This album was incomplete and scrambled for me on spotify. So take this rating with a grain of salt.

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3

3/5 too sensual for my taste

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3

Beautiful voice, but difficult to rate for me. Most songs are nice, but I'm not sure that I'd ever really seek them out. Same Ole Love was definitely a stand-out, though.

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3

Ok cute little album, not amazing. 3,5 but rounding down because I probably won't put it on again.

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3

Smoky and lovely voice

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3

Easy listening for the background but the songs itself were too similar to not make this another decent album that will be forgotten after a few days

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3

This is miles away from what I normally listen to. Certainly not offensive, but unlikely to revisit!

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3

So sweet that I think I might get diabetes. It is soft R&B infused with Jazzy vibes. Super cheesy, easy listening, but, you know, it is cute. And thankfully the album isn't that long (36 minutes), which makes it easier to sit through - would probably give it one rank lower if it was 10 minutes longer.

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3

3-; great voice, nice instrumentals, album wasn't too long, great experience but could be better

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3

3.5 - The genre designation “quiet storm” perfectly evokes the vibe on this album. The sound is very dated but it’s comforting. I’m reminded of being a kid, holding my dad’s hand as our family spends a leisurely afternoon strolling around at the high-end mall in our neighboring town. It feels safe, warm and worry-free. I probably won’t return to this particular album but I enjoyed the memories it brought back.

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3

Really good album. 3.5 / 5

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3

She's got an excellent voice and puts it to good use on this album. I'm just not a fan of this style of music, but I'll still listen. Some okay songs, but I have no need to buy this. Thank you streaming sites.

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3

It's a slab of 80's soul. Right up there with the very best slabs of 80's soul.

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3

A perfect middle of the road

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3

Great voice, probably heard this a thousand times when it came out in the background. Very 80s!

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3

Relaxte muziek, mooie stem! ***

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3

Nice R&B and soul album. Starts with a killer opening track! The songs after weren't that exciting, but this album might be worth it for a second listening.

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3

It's okay. I can't really judge the album fully since Spotify omitted like three of the tracks, but I got the gist of it. After getting the Sade album two days ago, I realized that I kind of like this era of R&B before Whitney Houston and Janet Jackson ushered it into the 90s. This isn't on the level of the Sade album, but it's not bad.

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3

Un petit moment de fraîcheur

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3

Старый добрый соул в отличном исполнении. Так и хочется налить вина и посидеть при свечах. 6 из 10

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3

Had this, loved it, but actually, loved just a couple of them. I seem to have gone past this kind of music now

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3

Anita is smooth. A little too mid-tempo/bland, but she’s a queen for a reason. 2.5 but rounding up for the icon.

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3

Anita can really sing and there is no questioning that. However, the issue is that the music did not really appeal to me. No songs really stick out as a must listen. Although I will not listen to it ever again, I will round up.

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3

Very smooth soul. Some jazzy scatting. Good voice, and very accomplished performance, but nothing apart from Sweet Love is really gripping me. Pity, because this was in all the shop windows for a year or so when it came out and won lots of awards. I'm giving a 3 because it is well sung and smoothly made, but not a soul record I'm going to reach for again.

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3

A little smooth and maybe too MOR for how I was feeling today.

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3

Throwback to the sax solo.

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3

Muy buena voz con grandes acompañamientos e instrumentos. Voz templada y calmada

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3

Its hard to rate this. Brilliant voice, immaculate production. Everything polished. Decent songs but its all a bit smooth. Its very good at what it does but its all so safe and nice. 80s soul queen. 3.5

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3

dunno, sounds decent, needed more time

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3

80's sloooow jams. It won two Grammys, so there is that.

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3

My original review got deleted by 'human error'. To summarize, this style of music isn't my thing, but I ended up liking it more than I expected. I wonder how many children born in late 1986 / early 1987 were conceived to this album. 3/5.

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2

2,5/5

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2

It was ok

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2

A bit too sappy for me! But some nice 80s tunes

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2

Bland. I mean, clearly the woman can sing, but really it goes nowhere, does nothing exciting that we haven't all heard a billion times before. Even in 1986 when this was released it was tedious and overdone. I gave it a 2 to be a bit polite.

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2

Very sweet and easy listening, "Sweet Love" is indeed a very relaxing bop and Anita has such an amazing voice! Not a thing I'd ever return to, but I dig listening to it :)

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2

Not on spotify. Didn't listen.

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2

Decent but fairly forgettable. A great voice, but no 'wow' factor.

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2

Awful and horribly dated. DNF.

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2

Hele goede zang, maar te hoog boomer gehalte

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2

Tried to listen. Decent.

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2

I was thrilled about the prospect of listening an 80's quiet storm album, but this ended up being too poppy and overtly polished for my tastes. Had this been a Latin American album, it would've been part of a telenovela soundtrack.

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2

Eh, its okay. 0RS

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2

I tried to like this, but I’m just not a big fan of R&B.

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2

Some ok songs, sounds very dated though and ended up being background music

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2

Nice and upbeat but not my kinda thing. Best track: No One in the World

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2

Dull.

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2

i don’t dig this kinda music at all

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2

Good. Just not feeling it.

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2

achei que seria melhor

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2

Liked the first track. The rest became increasingly annoying

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2

Standard generic 80s sickly soul. Nothing memorable or worth noting.

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2

Not for me.

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2

Great voice, the 80s easy listening is not my thing.

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2

I was bored. Anita Baker has a great voice, nothing can be taken away on that account. But the keyboard-driven style of this kind of 80s stuff does nothing for me. That was a lot of generic songs about love too - I wish the writing could measure up to her voice.

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2

Not bad, but not my scene.

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2

Sweet Love is a classic I forgot about. It immediately made me nostalgic for my mom's friend's station wagon in ways I don't understand completely. The rest of the album is beautifully sung, if predictable. It is soft, like a unicorn baby blanket. Nice, but maybe not for me.

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2

It's hard to listen to a full album of just one genre of music in the 80s, as a lot of the songs blend together. This doesn't take away from the vocals and heavy jazz/soul feel she creates, but the songs mesh together in a sort of bad way. Its listenable, but is it as enjoyable if there was more variety in the sound?

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2

What'd the overworked pastry chef say to the restaurant owner? Anita Baker! In the late 80's this was the best album to play when hoping to seduce your young Wall Street assistant while doing lines of coke on your mirrored coffee table. Fortunately, unfortunately Spotify only provided access to five of the songs, probably due to licensing issues. So, my rating may have been higher if somehow the rest of the album sounded nothing like those first few...

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2

Boring Her voice is impressive but the songs...nothing interesting. The arrangements just studio-made formulaic muzak. Nothing about any of it says to me that these are real people making real music. The antithesis of everything I crave from music.

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2

Classy. Don't like it. I'm not classy.

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2

You can tell it's quality and I enjoyed some of the songs but it's just not my thing so I gave it a 2.

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2

Only a few songs were on Spotify, but from what I heard I did not like it. Boring, annoying 80 RnB.

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2

A significant portion of this is just 80s easy listening with a nicer than normal voice on top. Best track: Watch Your Step

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2

Baker’s vocals are outstanding, but the backing tracks fail to live up to the vox with their dated synths (the drums and sax still rip tho)

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2

No es para mí.

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2

Groovy, bluesy, but doesn't stand out for me. A bit adult contemporary and bland, but good for an 80s background groove.

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2

Niet zo spannend.

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2

Mja, iets te glad voor mijn smaak. Bijna elevator music.

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2

Lovely jazz bass. I got pretty excited for the first thirty seconds, but the rest of the album was too sleepy and schmaltzy. Wouldn't be on my version of this list = 2.

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2

Not for me.

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2

80's soft soul and R&B. The type of music that gets played when Tom Selleck is looking deep into the eyes of Steve Guttenberg. Best Tracks: Sweet Love; Caught Up in the Rapture; No One in the World

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2

Lovely. Zach lip-synchs her so well: https://youtu.be/kFjRyVjFVFE

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2

couldn't finish

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2

great voice, lame cheessy production.

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2

As has been the case before, I fail to see what's so special about this album. At least with this one, it's not from a genre I'm familiar with.

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2

I really, really don't get along with this type of music. I won't give it one star because 'Sweet Love' is a good song and because objectively it's probably not that bad... it's a close-run thing though.

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2

Really not for me, maybe some value as backing music in a romantic film but not one to listen to on its own

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2

Beautiful voice but seems dated and very adult contempo

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2

Nice smooth soul that is otherwise ruined by cheesy 80's production. These synths are doing more harm than good.

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2

A good album but not really a great one

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2

I don’t know at first I was assigning between a two or three but honestly her voice kind of just annoyed me she has a very good voice but notes just made me mad for some reason

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2

Before this record, I had never heard the name quiet storm, the genre to which this album apparently belongs (I knew about the genre, just not the name). The brief potted history of quiet storm goes: in the 70s, with African-American audiences for soul music growing older, along with more and more African-Americans entering the middle class, suburbia and college, there emerged a market for a form of soul music more apposite for this upwardly-mobile demographic. That is, they sought an easy, Vaseline-smooth, uncontroversial soul music as a pleasant background sound to lovemaking. Taking its name from a radio show, which in turn took its name from a rather lovely Smokey Robinson number, quiet storm proved insanely lucrative throughout the 80s, yet it has never shaken the reputation of artificiality, of using the tools of soul to create product rather than soul. I have never been fond of that overproduced, anaemic style which became the dominant form of mainstream soul in the 80s. Partially it is the sense that this is soul for the Reagan era, of Reagan-approved soul. Many of the greats of 60s and 70s soul (Jame Brown, Curtis Mayfield, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, etc.) often had a civil-rights-era political dimension to their music, but 80s soul largely abstracted itself from that aspect. But that is not the issue here. Simply, all heart has been sapped from the music. The production has aged as well as Jacko’s legacy, and that smooth soul plus smooth jazz leaves the listener with nothing to hold on. Tragically, Anita Baker is an obviously talented singer, who happened to come to prominence after the golden age of soul. Individual moments strike the listener, but it requires the listener to sift. I accept that part of the 1001 exercise is to cover a gamut of Anglo-American popular music, but that does mean it occasionally throws up prominent albums from iffy genres. In American Psycho, the protagonist Patrick Bateman devotes a chapter to his appreciation of Whitney Houston (who does not have an album on this list, by the by), just after describing a sexually sadistic murder. He characterises Whitney as the greatest jazz singer of her generation, and tells the reader of the dignity and sincerity inherent to her debut album. Of course, this is meant satirically. We recognise that we are meant to mock Patrick for his abysmal taste and his facile justifications (which seem cribbed from music critics, indicating Patrick’s obsession with conforming), with the implicit message that Whitney’s music, and by extension quiet storm, is largely a cold, barren wasteland. Anita Baker had the misfortune to sow her seed on that wasteland. That said, in the wake of Whitney’s death, there has been more of an appreciation of her abilities as a singer, but not to the extent that it has prompted a critical reassessment of her 80s work. And yes, I know it is unusual to spend so much time talking about Whitney Houston in an Anita Baker review, but it underscores my point: sometimes genres should just be left to rot. Or are we all clamouring for the return of the teen death ballad?

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2

Groovy, but kinda boring. Not bad but nothing really bringing me back here at all.

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2

Ms. Baker is obviously a very talented singer but these songs and frankly this whole genre is so dull to get through. I can understand why others might enjoy it but it's a hard pass for me

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2

Cheesy love songs

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2

She has a nice voice. Easy to listen to love songs. Very 80s sound. Overall not something that I would regularly listen to, but I'm happy to have listened to it and broaden my horizons.

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2

-Able to find 5/8 songs on Spotify. Deducted a point. -Nice soul music with great singing and solid instrumentals. Never got too crazy or anything. -Potentially 3 stars if the album was on Spotify

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2

That bass is killer. That's about it. kind of like a knock off diana ross

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2

Didn't enjoy this much. Has aged in the worst way. She has a great voice but I didn't think she really took advantage of that on this album

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2

Mixed feelings about this one. First four tracks were very not good and then then last four tracks were maybe very good. I like her voice in the lower register and not so much in her higher registers. Love all the cheesy FM synths.

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2

Rapture is Anita Baker's second album, and it's her breakout album. It won two Grammy's, was certified platinum, and the first track "Sweet Love" won the 1987 Grammy for Best R&B Song. This was a popular album in the late 80's among adult R&B fans, especially black fans. Baker has an amazing singing voice and that's what made this album so special. I did not find this album to be good, but that's because I am not a fan of slow, soulful, R&B music. However, I can appreciate a great singing voice.

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2

This may sound cruel but it sounds like the end of every early 80s rom-com credit. Another one of these albums that is just not my taste.

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2

Maybe an inspiration for 90s r&b. Some decent bass at parts but overall pretty bland. Nothing really sticks out in this album

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I don't know, she has a good voice, I guess. This 80s R&B is just so cheesy, though. It's all drum machines, shallow lyrics, and saxophone solos. I was glad when it was over. She has a good voice, though, so there's that.

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2

Sleek soul from the 80s - didn't really dig it, 'tho it all sounds good.

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2

Too much for me. Sweet sweetness

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1

Awful reminder of how bad some parts of the 80a s living experience was

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1

Not on Spotify. Not gonna listen

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1

A little too much butter for my ears

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1

"Growing on me? No. Lady Michael McDonald with a keytar, bleh."

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1

Not really my type of music

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1

1

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No.

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1

I only feel sadness for people who spend their lives listening to this type of music.

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1

Really not for me, found it really dull

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1

You bring me sleep. Zzzzzzzzzzzzz.

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1

8M people bought this. Like aural mogadon. Boring / bland meh 80s soul. even the hits are boring.

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1

Perv music. If you’re a perv, you’ll love it.

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1

Not for me, sorry

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1

Same Ole Shite (365 days a week)

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1

Generic.

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1

Fucking dreadful. Hated all of it.

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1

Stinks

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1

Not for me.

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Dire

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1

cant find it anywhere??

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1

no thanks

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1

couldn't get past the first song

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1

There’s that one song which I didn’t much like and then the rest I liked even less.

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1

Not for me

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1

Yeah, hunh? Easy listening is an album I must listen to before I die?

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1

Never heard of Anita Baker before. Not for me.

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1

not interested

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1

Not my thing at all. Good for what it is, but I don’t want to listen to what it is.

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