September 18, 2012

Top Ten Carpenters Albums to Date

Right from the A&M Corner- I couldn't resist. No compilations or Christmas albums included...

(11.)    “Ticket to Ride”-  Adventureous first album.  Standouts: title song, “All of My Life”, “Nowadays Clancy Can’t Even Sing”

10.   “Passage”- When it’s good, it’s great. When it’s bad, it’s awful. Standouts: “Bwana She No Home”, the underrated “All You Get From Love is a Love Song”, “Don’t Cry For Me, Argentina”, “Sweet, Sweet Smile”

9.   “Made in America” – Same as above. Really- At first listen, I despised the “Wedding Song” long before I knew the behind the scenes story. No love for the Broadway style. Standouts “Strength of a Woman”, “Somebody’s Been Lying”, “Touch Me When We’re Dancing”.

8.    “Now and Then” -  Mixed bag. The Oldies did not wear well over time. Standouts: “This Masquerade”, “Yesterday Once More”, “Our Day Will Come”.

7.  “A Song For You” -  Great singles mixed with toss away tracks (“Intermission”, “Crystal Lullaby”, “Piano Picker”) which move it lower in ranking. Standouts: “Hurting Each Other”, “Goodbye to Love”, the title song.

6.   “Voice of the Heart”- Sentimental favorite. Would be ranked higher if not for chorale vocals. Gorgeous photo of Karen.  Very tasteful presentation under the circumstances. Standouts: my favorite Carps song of all time “Ordinary Fool”, “Now”, “Your Baby Doesn’t Love You Anymore”, “Look to Your Dreams” (an exception to the Broadway rule), “Sailing on the Tide”.

5.    “Carpenters” – Warm, by the fireplace music. Would rank higher if not for the barrel bottom “Druscilla Penny”. Standouts: the three single releases plus  “Let Me Be the One”, “Hideaway”, “Sometimes”, “Bacharach Medley”.

4.    “Lovelines” -   Strong and Weak. Standouts: “Lovelines”, “If We Try”, “Where Do I Go From Here?”, “When I Fall in Love”, “Kiss Me the Way You Did Last Night”, “If I Had You”.

3.      “A Kind of Hush”- Best overall package, music and art. Very soft but beautiful. Second place for “Worst Carpenters song: Goofus”. But it comes with the award for “Happiest Personal Memories Associated with an Album”. Standouts: “Boat to Sail”, “I Need to Be in Love”, “One More Time”, “I Have You”, plus the title song is my ultimate guilty pleasure.

2.      “Close to You”- the one that started it all for me.   Still stunning after 40 years.  Standouts: “We’ve Only Just Begun”, “Baby It’s You”, “Love is Surrender”, “Maybe It’s You”, “I’ll Never Fall in Love Again”.

1.     “Horizon”- elegant, classy, best recorded sound of Karen’s voice ever.  Standouts: “Only Yesterday”, “Desperado”, “Solitaire”, “I Can Dream, Can’t I?”, “Aurora/Eventide”, “Love Me For What I Am”.

See my individual reviews of each album, starting here.

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