Where I was when I first heard this song a series
Caught up in the Rapture by Anita Baker
This is where I was when I first heard “Caught up in the Rapture” by Anita Baker.
My spin class was winding down one day, and our spin instructor, who I often quote on this blog–and who has great taste in music–was playing some post-feel-the-burn stretch tunes. This beautiful, enchanting, sweepy song came on, and it sounded familiar, and I thought it was Anita Baker, but I couldn’t place the song. I realized later that it probably sounded familiar because of its similarity to another one of her songs called “Sweet Love.” If you know any song by Anita Baker, it is probably “Sweet Love.” (Kind of the way a lot of Nickelback songs sound the same, although the similarities between Baker and Nickelback end there).
People have heaped a lot of manure on soft rock, also known as “adult contemporary” (which is my favorite name for a music sub-genre) over the years, some of it fair, a lot of it harsh. Okay fine, you’ve probably heard these songs in your orthodontist’s waiting room or on your Quiet Storm Lite FM station or seen them on “best of” compilations for $4.99 at Target. But that is also what I love about these songs. A lot of them are about sensual love, and yet they are played in gas station convenience stores and corporate elevators. It’s like passion invading our mundane surroundings. Here you are sitting in your dentist’s office waiting to get a cleaning, and this song plays. I don’t know about you, but I think that’s kind of great.
But let me get back to “Caught up in the Rapture.” After hearing this song, I walked–maybe skipped–back to my office repeating “caught up in the rapture, caught up in the rapture” in my head so when I got there, I could search for it, and–as I inevitably do with such songs–play it continuously.
What I love about this song is how “rheumily amorous” it is in the words of Sinclair Lewis. I also love how it reminds me of the 80s, when I was a kid and songs like this were mainstream hits. I’m not sure if I actually could remember hearing a song like “Caught up in the Rapture” at age five, but for whatever reason it takes me back to those years, living in Chicago and being a child, which is a time of my youth I really loved.
The haters should know that Anita Baker’s album Rapture has rightfully won rave reviews.The thing that distinguishes Baker from bad soft rock is that she means it. She has soul. I think a singer who is good and has soul and can write lyrics can do any genre well. And Baker is these things and does adult contemporary well.