Top critical review
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The first album shows glimpses of greatness in the offing.
on 22 February 2001
After the first listen of the album you might be inclined to think that this, the Carpenters first album, is perhaps inferior to the others that followed it. However, bearing in mind that most of the tracks were written by Richard and his great songwriting partner John Bettis while they were still at High School, perhaps shows the talent the duo had at such an early age. Unusually Richard provides lead vocals on a number of tracks, which are enjoyable, however it is Karens subliminal voice that shines through, even at such an early age of 19. Her immaculate phrasing and expressiveness of the mood of the song and the lyrics are, in my opinion, unmatched by any other artist. Take 'Eve' (my favourite track), there are moments of firm strong vocals along with moments of her well known heavenly silkiness. To be able to produce a listening experience of that caliber which appears effortless and flows perfectly is extremely rare. Other highlights are 'All of my life' which expresses the yearning we all must of felt at some point about relationships!, karen has a way of really seeming to put her finger right on how you may of felt, at some point or another. 'Ticket to ride' is the original version and differs slightly to the one heard on the Singles 69-73 album, but is no less enjoyable. 'Don't be afraid' is Karen singing in an upbeat style similar perhaps to 'postman', it shows another side to her immense range. A very appealing if slightly rose tinted song. Karens vocals have a slighlty more gutsy feel to them than on other albums, for example 'Horizon' and 'Kind of Hush', however both styles have certain aspects that make then just as appealing. It may not have been nearly as popular as the following 'Close to you' but Ticket to Ride showcases the 'Offering', (the albums original title), that the carpenters were nurturing. I would only buy this album if you are a major fan, the selections might not appeal quite so much if you are used to the tracks on the various greatest hits albums available, but it does provide more of the uniqueness of the legacy of THAT voice, which was gone all too soon.