Interpretations: A 25th Anniversary Celebration
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CD Interpretations: A 25th Anniversary Collection A&M Records, 540 251-2, 1994, 21 Track
The sound Richard and Karen Carpenters made was unequivocally Mum-Pop (as opposed to Dad-Rock), and quintessentially bourgeois, but there is not necessarily any shame in that. The suburban life has its own poignancy, and The Carpenters' semi-detached soul expressed this quotidian sorrow better than anyone. "What I've got they used to call the blues", Karen sighs on "Rainy Days And Mondays" in that low, lazy, languorous but diamond-clear voice, "Nothing is really wrong, feeling like I don't belong..." This mannered, mellow melancholia was perfect feel-sorry-for-yourself music. Indeed, the Carpenters were at their worst when at their chirpiest: the excruciating "Jambalaya" and "Top Of The World", the icky one-world sentiments of "Sing" (originally written for Sesame Street), "A Kind Of Hush" and "Bless The Beasts And Children", and the simply berserk "Calling Occupants Of Interplanetary Craft".
Richard Carpenter's genius, like Isaac Hayes, was as a reinterpreter of other people's material (Burt Bacharach's "They Long To Be Close To You", a radically downtempo version of "Ticket To Ride"), and although space and time have bestowed unintended comedy value upon lines like "Why do birds suddenly appear / Every time you are near?", the Carpenters sound--lush yet simple, sophisticated yet naive, all plinking pianos, tinkling glockenspiels and heavenly harmonies--is timeless. --Simon Price
Top Customer Reviews
The album gets off to a slow start with the pretty sickly 'Sing', please somebody show the school choir the door, it detracts from the song, and this is followed by one of the rare hideous songs that the Carpenters sang - 'Bless the Beast on the Children', but this is not to say that the album is poor, in fact the exact opposite. This is a truly wonderful collection of some of the Carpenters best known and most loved songs - all delivered in the wonderful manner and with the purity and class that people would go crazy for today.
There is no modern day Karen Carpenter, and to suggest that there was would take away from her talent, I think she was a one off who could turn any song into a beautifully crafted piece of music. This is no better illustrated then the superb version of 'Solitaire', if you have any doubts about her ability, take a listen to Andy Williams' version of the same song, and you will have a little bit more respect for the Carpenters abilities.
One of my personal highlights is the exceptional version of 'When I Fall In Love', it exudes charisma, beauty and class and any singer would be proud of delivering such a heartfelt and wonderful version of such a beautiful song. This is continued in 'Tryin' To Get This Feeling Again', an amazing version of this song.Read more ›
This CD is a good showcase for Karen's extraordinary voice and Richard's musical ability. The version of "From this moment on" with its backing of one of Bach's two-part inventions is very clever and well done. I never did like "Close to you" or "Sing", but there is the gorgeous version of "Desperado", for me the highlight of the CD. The rest is enjoyable and listenable. So, if you unashamedly like musical sounds, this could be for you.