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Compositions    (Continued)

However, this doesn't mean that the material lacks depth or strength. Baker's best tracks are, in fact, the jazzier ones. "Talk to Me" is, perhaps, the most pop-oriented number here, but far more inviting are "Lonely," "Love You to the Letter" and "Soul Inspiration." "Perfect Love Affair" and "No One to Blame" represent the most R&B-like songs, while "Lonely" and "Fairy Tales" are superb jazz performances, both vocally and instrumentally.

Though musical transitions like this can sometimes scare away record buyers, established stars like Anita Baker usually end up benefitting from the creative change of pace by broadening their popular image. It's too early to tell whether Baker can count this effort as a chart-topping success, but it should be considered a personal success. n

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