Monday, March 14, 2022

"Just Because" by Anita Baker

Song#:  3777
Date:  01/21/1989
Debut:  62
Peak:  14
Weeks:  16
Genre:  R&B, Adult Contemporary, Pop

Pop Bits:  Baker's career hit an all-time high with her third album Giving You the Best That I Got. The LP would be a triple Grammy winner that would reach #1 at both Pop and R&B. It got there thanks to the title track first single that hit #1 R&B, #1 AC, and #3 Pop. For a second single, this next track was selected for release. It would become Baker's second song to reach #1 at R&B while also making it to #4 AC. On the Pop chart, it appeared like the song might crack the Top 10, but it stopped a little short. Just as this song was nearing its peak, the album would be certified for sales of over 3 million.

ReduxReview:  When I first heard this song on the album, I knew it would be selected for single release. The chorus was very strong and memorable and the bridge did well in building the tune towards its end. Minor problems arose in the verses, which sort of rambled along with little in the way of a memorable melody. Luckily, the chorus was good enough to overcome the tepid verse and in the end it make for a solid single. I lost interest in Baker with her next album. It was a weaker batch of songs that had Baker remaining within the R&B/smooth jazz lines. She stayed the course instead of venturing out and experimenting with some of the day's current sounds. She was kind of stuck with her long-time producer Michael J. Powell and I think that held her back. Baker would have benefited from hooking up with a popular songwriting/production team for a couple of songs to make her stay more relevant. She did finally branch out a bit with Rhythm of Love, which performed much better, but then she basically went silent. Still, her 80s hits remain quiet storm and AC radio staples.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) A third single would be issued out from the album. "Lead Me Into Love" would become Baker's seventh to reach the R&B Top 10 peaking at #4. Despite that result, the song didn't quite catch on in a more mainstream way. It would stall at #32 AC while not even making the Pop chart. It would be the final single released from the LP. The lack of support for the song played into album sales and it would halt at the triple-platinum mark. So while Giving You the Best That I Got would be her highest peaking effort reaching #1 Pop/R&B, her second album Rapture had more legs and would eventually be her best seller making it to the 5x platinum mark.  2) For her fourth album, 1990's Compositions, Baker took her role as songwriter more seriously. She would write or co-write seven of the album's nine tracks including its first single "Talk to Me." The song would be a hit at R&B (#3) and AC (#4), but it would just miss out on the Pop Top 40 (#44). The LP would reach #3 R&B and #5 Pop, become a platinum seller, and win Baker the Grammy for Best R&B Vocal Performance, Female. The results indicated a dip in Baker's popularity, but she rallied back with 1994's Rhythm of Love. The #1 R&B/#3 Pop LP would go double-platinum and featured Baker's last Pop Top 40 hit "Body and Soul" (#36 Pop, #4 R&B, #25 AC). A second single from the LP, "I Apologize" (#8 R&B/#74 Pop) would earn Baker another Grammy for Best R&B Vocal Performance, Female. After the LP, Baker would take a little break. Part of it was to care for her sons and another part was dealing with label issues, lawsuits, and damage to tapes of songs recorded for her sixth album. After everything was settled, a decade after her last effort, Baker would release her album My Everything in 2004. It would be a gold seller that got to #1 R&B/#4 Pop. She would release a holiday album the following year, but save for a 2012 single, a remake of the 1999 #12 R&B/#56 Pop Tyrese hit "Lately" that got to #15 R&B and earned her a Grammy nod, Baker has yet to record a new album (as of 2022).


No comments:

Post a Comment