Anita Baker Gears Up for “Only Forever,” Talks Merging Old with the New

After seven years, new music from R&B favorite Anita Baker is on its way. The Detroit-raised singer-songwriter is preparing for the release of “Only Forever,” Baker’s first studio album in seven years. Judging from the first single “Lately,” Baker’s voice is still in fine, buttery condition, melting even the toughest of person’s hearts and filling it with that warm, loving feeling.

Expect the album’s sound to have a throwback feel mixed with a modern format; Baker says she used both analog and digital technology. “I just had this concept of walking into a digital universe with an analog heart [on Only Forever],” Baker tells The BoomBox. “So we’re kind of marrying the two. I started cutting analog down in Nashville, and once I knew what we were gonna do, we bounced it over to the digital format so that the 21st century producers like Harvey Mason, Jr., could manipulate it,” she explained. “I was just very focused on getting some analog energy in there somewhere. So it’s a lovely bridge that I’m trying to build tech-wise as well as musically.”

Bridging the gap between technologies on only one way Baker has transcended generations. Her influence is felt in today’s artists, and she legend chanteuse is grateful for the praise. “I was walking down my hall a couple of days ago, and I looked in on the den, and I saw my 18 year old son watching a video of Beyonce singing “Sweet Love” and the moment was surreal for me,” she tells USA Today. “Not in a trippy kind of way, ‘Oh look at me!’ But my son who’s a musician, watching his generation at the top of her game, and there’s my song.”

Her famous romantic ballads such as “Giving You the Best That I’ve Got” and “Sweet Love” are her staple, but lately, she’s been covering other topics. “I’ve been writing odes to my family,” she says, and one song on the album “Free” is a about seeing her sons venture out into the world. Her son Walter, 19, is studying music, and her youngest, Ed, 18, will also study music as he enters college next month. “I’m an empty nester now…I want them to hear my voice and have advice readily available to them.”

And venturing in newer territory still, Baker says “Only Forever” will probably be her last commercial record. Not because she’s quitting music completely, but because she wants to try slightly different genres. “I have a gospel album in me, a jazz album…[there are] other things I want to say, and I’ll say them.”

“Only Forever” will be available on October 23.

Listen to “Lately” HERE.