’Everything’ For You
It started with an itch. It ended with Anita Baker's first studio album in 10 years. "My Everything," due this week from Blue Note Records, shattered Baker's creative block. "There are times when that creative door is just closed," Baker says. During her recording hiatus, the Detroit native raised her two sons and cared for her ill parents.
The album finds Baker’s warm alto reclaiming the signature soul/jazz sound that earned her eight Grammy Awards and numerous hits, including two R&B No. 1s: "Giving You the Best That I Got" and "Just Because." The 10 tracks on "My Everything" range from a duet with Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds ("Like You Used to Do") to a Yellowjackets cover ("I Can't Sleep").
Baker, who wrote or co-wrote seven of the album's cuts, arranged nine tracks with producer Barry Eastmond, who collaborated on her last major hit in 1994, "I Apologize." She also enlisted other longtime members of her support team: background vocalists the Ridgeway Sisters and the Perri Sisters, plus George Duke, who mixed all the songs with Erik Zobler.
"I don't know how to sing or record any other way than to throw my whole self into it," says Baker, who cut the songs with a live rhythm section. "Once I get my peeps in there, we just start vibing. It's a true collaborative effort."