Rolling Stone - 2/23/95, p.743.5 Stars
- Very Good - "...When [Anita Baker] wraps her voice around an intelligent lyric, her smoky contralto has few equals....Her artistry demands serious, repeated listening, and on the original songs presented on RHYTHM, she delivers..."
Entertainment Weekly - 9/16/94, p.120
"...Diva is a word too often used lightly. It may be safely applied here..." - Rating: A-
Personnel includes: Anita Baker (vocals, piano, synthesizer); Michael Thompson, Dean Parks, Ira Siegel (guitar); Barry J. Eastmond (strings, piano, Fender Rhodes, keyboards, programming); Joe Mardin (strings, keyboards, drums, programming); Andy Snitzer (saxophone); Jerry Hey (trumpet); Louis Resto (piano, Fender Rhodes, synthesizers, programming); Nathan East, Anthony Jackson (bass); Steve Ferrone (drums); Bashiri Johnson (percussion); Gordon Chambers (background vocals).
Producers include: Anita Baker, Tommy LiPuma, Gerard Smerek, Barry J. Eastmond, Arif Mardin.
Engineers include: Gerard Smerek, Al Schmitt, Randy Poole.
"I Apologize" won a 1996 Grammy Award for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance.
"Body And Soul" was nominated for 1995 Grammy Awards for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance and Best R&B Song, and RHYTHM OF LOVE was nominated for Best R&B Album.
Personnel: Anita Baker (vocals); Dean Parks, Ira Siegel (guitar); Barry J. Eastmond (strings, piano, synthesizer); Andy Snitzer (saxophone); Luis Resto (piano, Fender Rhodes piano, synthesizer); Steve Ferrone (drums); George Duke, Steve Thornton, Bashiri Johnson (percussion); Mike Bradford (programming).
Recording information: "My House"- Home Studio; Ambience Recordings, Farmington Hills, MI; Clinton Studio, NY; East Bay Studios, Tarrytown, NY; Electric Lady Studio, NY; Greene Street Studio, NY; Pearl Sound, Detroit, MI; Power Station, NY; Skyline Studios, NY; Soundtrack, NY; Studio A, Detroit, MI; the Hit Factory, NY; Unique Recording, New York, NY.
Photographers: Harry Langdon; Kip Lott.
Arranger: George Duke.
Out of sight, out of mind is the rule in popular music, so you'd have thought that during the four years Anita Baker stepped back from the recording industry to have a family, her popularity would have subsided. But radio never stopped playing her rapturous love songs, primary colors of the new romanticism.
With RHYTHM OF LOVE, Anita Baker reclaims her quiet storm torch from descendants such as Toni Braxton. The rich ornaments and expressive vibrato of her bass range evoke images of Sarah Vaughan, while she demonstrates a breathy, horn-like fluency in the upper registers. In calling upon keyboard masters Joe Sample and George Duke, Baker has arrived at a fresh blend of jazz lyricism and R&B phrasing on standards such as "My Funny Valentine" and "Sometimes I Wonder Why," and a shuffling contemporary take on Burt Bacharach's "The Look Of Love" (from the film "Casino Royale").
Still, it's Anita Baker's pleading contralto that delights her fans most. "Plenty Of Room" is a quintessential power ballad that benefits from a subtle blend of rock and gospel touches, while the new single "Body And Soul" (not to be confused with the jazz standard) is a classic devotional torch song, full of virtuoso vocal turns and emotional peaks---proving that her voice has lost none of its opulent allure.