Customer Reviews: Close To You [Remastered]
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon April 19, 2003
Their second album (after Offering/Ticket To Ride), this album established the Carpenters as a new sound in the popular music world. It is not hard to understand their success, as this album is a solid winner in every respect, with two top-10 rated hits, "Close To You, and "We've Only Just Begun".
Released in 1970, this album launched the Carpenters into stardom that made them one of the most-listened to groups of the seventies. Arranged by Richard Carpenter's unique blend of multiple track layered vocal recordings, the Carpenters music was indeed unique for its time. Karen's incredibly clear and flawless vocals made their sound a distinctive one, one you immediately recognise after hearing just the first several notes of music.
Since they had not yet found their formula for pop success, this album offers a variety of music, from a soon to be standard for weddings, "We've Only Just Begun", to an American top-40 popular, "Close To You", to a Beatle's ballad interpretation, "Help", to Richard's vocal presentation of "I Kept On Loving You".
The album is built around two wonderfully melodic songs. It begins with the love ballad "We've Only Just Begun", a song that became the group's second consecutive major hit. The other major hit, "Close To You", their first pop hit arriving at number one in the summer of 1970, shores up the middle of this album. The other tracks fill out the album quite nicely, although there are some songs that are a bit weak ("I Kept On Loving You" and "Love Is Surrender"), yet pleasing all the same. Karen turns "Maybe It's You" and "Baby It's You" into pure soothing ear candy, with her beautiful vocal interpretation. Other highlights include "Reason To Believe", with a country accent to this Rod Stewart hit, "I'll Never Fall In Love Again", a delightful rendition of Burt Bacharach's original recording, and the catchy "Mr. Guder", Richard's (and John Bettis') anti-establishment song about their boss at Disnyland.
This is a delightful album. There are no dull moments and when you have finished listening to it, I guarantee that you will want to hear it again (and again!). I still feel the same way about it 30-plus years after originally purchasing it. You will too.
Jim Koenig
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Close To You is an excellent album by Karen and Richard Carpenter. They made outstanding music together and it still stands the test of time. Hearing this music brings back so many fond memories for me as I heard so many of these tunes originally on the radio. The quality of the sound on this CD is very good; and I really like the artwork, too.

"We've Only Just Begun" begins the album with a smash hit for Carpenters; they play and sing this beautifully and the number is very sensitive. Karen sings this with so much passion; you truly feel that she is singing to you and only you as you hear her sing. In addition, Karen sings so sweetly about the joys of starting a love affair or a marriage while still managing to acknowledge in the lyrics that there is still some uncertainty about the road that lies ahead for her and her one true love. Great! "We've Only Just Begun" is truly one of their greatest hits ever; and I could never tire of listening to this ballad. "Maybe It's You" is a number that stuns me with its beauty; Karen sings this with panache and Richard's music is perfect to go along with Karen's vocals. The lush musical arrangement makes "Maybe It's You" a classic Carpenters song.

"Reason To Believe" is a soft pop number from the early `70s that still holds its own very well even today all these years later; and "Reason To Believe" puts Karen and Richard Carpenter squarely front and center--and that's wonderful. "Help" is a sublime cover of this Beatles song; Karen sings this with heart and soul. You can really hear Karen's delving into the song to bring out her personal emotions that, as she sings this song, make this a wonderful rendition of this number second only to the rendition by The Beatles themselves. Wonderful! In addition, "(They Long To Be) Close To You" charms me with its beauty; and I cannot understand why anyone would think that music like this is "corny." "(They Long To Be) Close To You" is a very sweet tune and we really see Karen Carpenter open up and let herself perform this ballad with her heart and lots of feeling. "(They Long To Be) Close To You" is clearly a major highlight of this album.

"Baby It's You" has a very sensitive arrangement; and listen for "I'll Never Fall In Love Again." "I'll Never Fall In Love Again" is a Burt Bacharach/Hal David number that Dionne Warwick made so famous; when Karen and Richard do their cover of this classic ballad Bacharach must have surely been proud! Karen sings this to perfection; and her uncanny sense of timing impresses me, too.

"I Kept On Loving You" has that early `70s flavor to it; and the number works very well. "I Kept On Loving You" is a solid number and those chorus lyrics fit in well, too. The album ends with "Another Song;" "Another Song" is a very special number and it makes a fine ending for this album.

Overall, Carpenters fans will love this album if they don't have it already. This is also great for people who enjoy contemporary pop vocals.
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on September 23, 1999
This was the second Carpenters' album, and one of their finest. Their two big hits from 1970, "Close To You" and "We've Only Just Begun" are here, but to me the most intruiging songs are the songs not released as singles. "Love is Surrender" is great, as is "Maybe It's You" (I always imagine the sand and sea at sunset whenever I hear that song), "I Kept On Loving You", a short fun little ditty where Richard sings lead and Karen sings backup, and the beautiful "Another Song" to close out the CD.
My favorite is "Reason To Believe", and I loved seeing the video version on the "Interpretations" video, too. This version totally blows Rod Stewart's out of the water, and is what I consider one of the most underrated Carpenters' recordings ever. I highly recommend this CD!
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on March 9, 1999
Straddled with "the sophomore jinx" this is the Carpenters second album. It was assembled quickly to showcase two of their biggest singles to date, "We've Only Just Begun" and "Close To You." The album is filled with outtakes from "Ticket To Ride" and a couple "new" studio recordings. An overlooked classic is the beautifully arranged and performed "Baby, It's You." Richard and Karen had a penchant for covering old hits of the sixties and "Baby" is an excellent example. Vocal overdubbing was becoming more of an art for Richard and Karen, the overdubbed I'll Never Fall In Love Again" features over thirty "voices." A masterpiece in the overdubbing art and Richard's ability to arrange the "moody" is "Cresent Noon," another overlooked gem. Rock was still a favorite form or genre for Richard, the surprising "Another Day" closes "Close To You" employing a music box like vocal start for Karen, then a soaring vocal bridge with a fade out of rock instrumental. There are a few tunes that catch the venacular of the day. The song "Maybe It's You" written by Richard Carpenter and John Bettis during their college days, mentions the "ocean king rising on the shore of velveteen". Remember, this was the early seventies and although velveteen is now considered tacky, it was a hot fabric back then. The title track "Close To You" is a little longer that the well-known single version, this original version features a cold fade out, then fades up again with a few more turns of "whaah, close to you." It's not a stunning album overall, but the display of arrangements and the feeling of what's to come makes "Close To You" a worthy addition to any collection. Again, the album was remastered by Richard himself and takes full advantage of sonic enhancement without being too loud.
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on March 26, 2006
Carpenters....what else can I say?...A wonderful group from Downey,California.....Karen Carpenter is the best female vocalist of our time...Nobody can sing like her...This is an amazing album...Including there two signature hits (They Long To Be)Close To You and We've Only Just Begun.......Both hits....Make sure you pick this album up....Another highlight is Love Is Surrender and Maybe It's You.....
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on February 25, 2004
this album may have been a rush job to capitalize on a hit, "close to you", but it is simply wonderful. To me all of the songs resemble a suite and show just how wonderful Karen Carpenter's voice really was and what a huge void she left behind. I find it totally amazing that she was only 20 when this album was recorded. The carpenters truly made music for the soul and I find this album is able to transport me to a place that is wonderful every time I hear it. I was originaly was going to give this album 4 stars but I'll give it 5
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on February 3, 2013
Karen Carpenter is gone, but time will show that heer melodic resonance is right up there with Judy Garland, Patti Page, Rosemary Clooney, and Helen O'Connell. Thankfully her forever-lasting voice can be relived over and over again before her songs become elevator music. Not everyone knows this; Karen had that rare gene which gave her a pitch-perfect voice of unwavering depth.
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on September 20, 2016
No sense talking trash at their BEST ever!!...I purchased to see if Richard messed it up or help it along...think he was just bored and a perfectionist of sorts with his music
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on June 7, 2002
Hey everyone, i am a major Carpenter's fan and i have all their CD's. In my mind this is definetly the best! I love all the songs on this album and Karen's vocals are so amazing. Close to You contains all the hits- including "We've Only Just Begun", "Close to You" and others that aren't so well known but just as amazing!!! If you are looking for The Definite Carpenters Record...THIS is the one! Enjoy :)
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on September 18, 2015
This is one of their first albums, I believe it might be one of their best. A mix of original hits and songs that were hits earlier but presented with Richard Carpenters own talents. A great album in deed
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