Been so Long
Label: Rhino Atlantic
Anita Baker's voice is like nothing else. It's wintry and heavy like Michael McDonald's, yet stylized like that of a torch singer. When her songs from Rapture played on the radio -- and they all did, if not as pop hits, then as deep album cuts -- it was unmistakable. These gems ranged from romantic ecstasy (the classic "Sweet Love") to the pleasures of long-term relationships ("Same Ole Love"), and despite her relative youth, she sounded like a wise old soul. Bridging the gap between smooth jazz, R&B and adult pop, this was a unique achievement that proved impossible for her to equal.