Bette Midler vs. Anita Baker

Back to the pile of CD’s my wife bought me at a yard sale.

There were two in the pile that right away caught my eye.  One was Bette Midler, who I am familiar with.  I have some of her albums on vinyl and CD. I have watched a number of her specials on TV going back to the late seventies.

The other was Anita Baker who I have heard of but never really listened to. I know that she was labeled an R&B artist.  I set aside one of her albums to listen to along with the Bette Midler album.

The Bette Midler CD was “Some People’s Lives”.  I put it in my CD player in my truck and started listening.

Her vocals were as always just magnificent and the production was top of the line.  I expected nothing less.  The question was would I like the songs and the style enough to give it multiple listens.

Well that album went onto my iPhone which is a pretty high honor in my music world.  I forget who I had to bump off to make room for this album.

Every song has a unique feel and the genres vary.

But this album isn’t one that I would listen to while driving around town in my truck.  No this one is reserved for listening to at night with my headphones.  The songs, the arrangements, the orchestration all of it can take you away on an emotional experience.   So I save it for when I can devote my mind to it.

I was also pleasantly surprised to see two of my favorite drummers on this album, Carlos Vega and Grady Tate.

Next was the Anita Bake CD “Giving You The Best That I Got”.

It was a quality recording but I’m not that enamored with her voice.  She just doesn’t get to me like a Bonnie Raitt or Bette Midler.

I had a very difficult time trying to understand the words she was singing.  I don’t know if that was due to the engineering, her enunciation, or the sound system in my truck. (Although I don’t have that issue with any other albums in my truck.)

I also thought that all the songs were pretty much alike.  They all seemed to have the same overall sound, from the drums to her voice.  It was like they recorded it with all the knobs and effects set on the first song and never changed from the first to the last song.

It’s a good R&B sound but it just got monotonous.  Everything was quality but about halfway through the album I was bored with the sound and the songs.

I guess if I played it in shuffle mode with all the other tracks on my iPhone and mixed it in with all the other artists I might enjoy it and not get bored.

But I like to listen to albums in order from start to finish.  I like to think that the artist and the producer were going for something when they established the song order on the album and I respect that.  Maybe I’m all wet about that.

The Anita Baker CD did not make it onto my iPhone.  There was just nothing that is already my iPhone that I thought I would prefer to hear the Anita Baker CD over what is already there.  It’s just personal preference.

© Otis P Smith and About the Groove, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Otis P Smith and About the Groove with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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