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The Songstress

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Album Review

Trends in African-American music changed considerably between Anita Baker's first taste of national exposure in 1979 (when she was a member of Detroit soul band Chapter 8 and sang lead on the hit ballad "I Just Wanna Be Your Girl") and her debut solo album, The Songstress, in 1983. While 1979's black music charts were full of large funk bands, standup vocal harmony groups, and disco divas, rappers and techno-funksters like the System were very much in vogue in 1983. Instead of following trends, Baker excelled by doing what she does best: gospel-influenced, '70s-type soul/pop with jazz overtones. The Songstress, released by the small Beverly Glen label and reissued by Elektra in 1991, wasn't the mega-hit her next album, Rapture, would be. But the Sarah Vaughan-influenced singer began to build a following with such honest, heartfelt ballads and "slow jams" as "No More Tears," "You're the Best Thing Yet," and the caressing "Angel." A sweaty taste of gospel-drenched funk, the invigorating "Squeeze Me" is atypical of the ballad-oriented Baker — although she definitely shines at this faster tempo. Indeed, Baker's solo career was off to a most impressive start with The Songstress. For those who savored Rapture and Giving You the Best That I Got, The Songstress is also essential listening.

Customer Reviews

Best Album Ever

This is the best album I have ever bought, Angel is the most beautiful song. Love Anita Baker x


Born: 26 January 1958 in Toledo, OH

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

With her classy, refined brand of romantic soul, Anita Baker was one of the definitive quiet storm singers of the '80s. Gifted with a strong, supple alto, Baker was influenced not only by R&B, but jazz, gospel, and traditional pop, which gave her music a distinctly adult sophistication. Smooth and mellow, but hardly lifeless, it made her one of the most popular romantic singers of her time. Baker was born January 26, 1958, in Toledo, Ohio, and raised in nearby Detroit, where she grew up listening...
Full bio
The Songstress, Anita Baker
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  • £5.99
  • Genres: R&B/Soul, Music, Quiet Storm, Contemporary R&B
  • Released: Jun 1983

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