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Carpenters Make a Big Splash With Their New Sound!
on 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.