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Harriet - (Singer with echoes of Karen Carpenter)*

Discussion in 'A Song For You: The Carpenters Forum' started by wideawakeat4am, Dec 7, 2014.

  1. song4u

    song4u Well-Known Member

    Harriet posted on Facebook a wonderful video of just her singing with Connor accompanying her on guitar. I don't know how to link it here. It is from Dan Wootton's FB page. Some of the songs I hadn't heard before. Beautiful job.
    garyjo777 and Murray like this.
  2. kacfansue

    kacfansue New Member

    Rick, I'm betting Richard has heard her! Mary Carpenter was apparently impressed enough with Harriet that she posted "What's Mine is Yours" on her Facebook page: Mary Carpenter shared a link. 30 August 2015!
  3. kacfansue

    kacfansue New Member

    I'm betting Richard has heard her! Mary Carpenter was apparently impressed enough with Harriet that she posted "What's Mine is Yours" on her Facebook page: Mary Carpenter shared a link. 30 August 2015!
  4. garyjo777

    garyjo777 Member

    While Harriet's voice is as different from Karen at times as it is similar, she does seem to love the same "types" of songs as the Carpenters would perform. Today she has released a cover a song "Reach" of which I am not too familiar, but I think was originally intended for children. (Correct me if I am wrong). However, her version is beautiful and comes across as a positive song for anyone.
    Murray and song4u like this.
  5. song4u

    song4u Well-Known Member

    I'm loving this song!
  6. Murray

    Murray Active Member

    I love her version of this song, originally recorded by "S Club 7". It really works well as a ballad. For comparison, here's the uptempo original, which I also like...
  7. kprather

    kprather Member

    Letting my imagination run wild, this recording honestly sounds like a Carpenters cover in an alternate universe where Karen survived. People's voices change over time, and Harriet's voice is just different enough where it could be what Karen would sound like in 2017. The song choice and arrangement seem like they're right up Richard's alley as well.
    garyjo777 likes this.
  8. Nicko

    Nicko Active Member

    You can this song 'Reach' as a free download for signing on her mailing list, just go to the website Harrietsmusic.com
  9. CraigGA

    CraigGA Well-Known Member

    The song is pretty but it sounds too low Harriet and she does not have the same freedom with her lower range as Karen did. That is one reason it is not good to compare someone to someone else for there are always disappointments in comparison. An artist should stand alone. A reflection, maybe at times, but a voice needs to stand alone and Harriet deserves and needs that respect.

    Take any Harriet song and compare it to Karen singing Where Do I Go Frim Here, and you will see what I mean. A singer deserves more than a reflection and they need that stand alone quality to succeed. I think she deserves to stand apart from the level of an Elvis impersonator and if this is her base of fans that energy of separation needs to begin here. Karen and Harriet are two different people and two different artists.

    Carpe diem likes this.
  10. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    I've said this before but it's apt here. I don't listen to any of Harriet's material because I don't want to listen to someone who so closely resembles Karen in timbre and style, whether she's trying to or not. I'd rather just listen to Karen.
    Carpe diem and CraigGA like this.
  11. Amen. I had a friend at work and we started to talk about The Carpenters (he is a big fan also) and he started to tell me I should go on YouTube and see this girl and that girl and how much they "sounded" like Karen Carpenter. I told him flat out; "I like the real deal." I know there are a million Karen "sound a likes" in the world but a few mouse clicks away I can see the woman herself. I would have to go on YouTube anyway to see the latest Karen sound a like from The Philippines or where ever, so why don't I go on YouTube, download Karen singing Rainy Days And Mondays or Superstar live on a 1971 BBC television special? They are both prerecorded, correct? I just can't get excited about impersonators; whether its Elvis, The Beatles, Pink Floyd, etc. Or bad lounge acts featuring "An Evening With The Carpenters". The girl featured here is talented, no doubt about that. She does sound, in a lot of ways, like Karen. But, blaze your own way for crying out loud! When I see a concert or TV appearance that features Karen Carpenter, it doesn't matter that I have seen it 100 times before. It always effects me like I have seen it for the first time. That was the timeless quality of her music and her persona. There are intangibles with Karen that are not so easily replicated; you might be able to "impersonate" the timbre and tone of her voice, but can you impersonate her emotional connection with her audience?, her sweetness?, decency, humor, sensuality, innocence, charisma, etc?
    Jamesj75 likes this.
  12. Jamesj75

    Jamesj75 Well-Known Member

    Carpe diem, I totally understand your viewpoint and, in large part, agree with your assessment. Karen was one of a kind, no doubt. For me, no one will ever come close to the (for lack of a better word) perfection that was Karen...

    But there is a huge difference between an impersonator and a similar sounding voice. I was never a fan of Elvis (in part because his greatest success was before my time). There is a cottage industry of Elvis impersonators, some of whom, in my opinion, have tainted his legacy. Some such impersonators truly attempt to honor their "king," but I think it's safe to say that his look, his swagger, and even his voice can be somewhat easily copied.

    On the other hand, Karen had such a unique voice and possessed, as you say, "emotional connection with her audience, her sweetness, decency, humor, sensuality, innocence, charisma, etc," that her performing persona was not ripe for mimicking or impersonation. I have seen a Carpenters' tribute show, produced by Jim Brickman, which was very good (featuring 2 female and 1 male singer), and I have heard of Akiko and Dami Im who have made tributes to Karen and sound a little like her. I think Rumer sounds a little like Karen, at times as well.

    Harriet's voice just happens to sound a lot like Karen's (more so than any other singer I've heard). Although Carpenters' music was among her influences, I don't think she is purposefully impersonating Karen. Harriet's singing voice is natural and highly reminiscent of Karen's. It isn't a forced attempt at idolatry. I enjoy Harriet, in large part, because her voice and style are similar to Karen's, and she does great work with ballads and remakes. It's a soothing voice, like Karen's, and I have come to appreciate her. She is clearly a different person, a different performer. But I can enjoy and listen to Harriet and not feel as though I am "cheating" on Karen. :)
    kacfansue, garyjo777, song4u and 2 others like this.
  13. Thanks for your reply. I love reading and responding to all the great comments on these forums, although I spend way too much time on them and get nothing done around the house (my wife is starting to get "pissed")! So many true fans with great knowledge and opinions to bring to the table!
    Jamesj75 likes this.
  14. Jamesj75

    Jamesj75 Well-Known Member

    Thank you, Carpe diem! I should point out that I wasn't trying to oversell Harriet. You, newvillefan, and others here have no interest in Harriet, primarily for reasons you've outlined, and I can understand that. I just thought I would lend my voice to this discussion on "voice" and explain why I enjoy Harriet. BTW, she also showed great appreciation for her fans with her special packages on her self-produced CDs.

    I echo your sentiments on the great comments at this forum. There are terrific people here (members and moderators alike). Opinions are divergent, particularly with regard to favorite (and least favorite) Carpenters' songs, albums, etc. But it's always so interesting --- and respectful. I have learned and enjoyed so much here. It astounds and pleases me that, to this day, Carpenters' fans are still around, fans of all ages... I'm glad you've found this unique website! It can't be easily impersonated either... :)
    Carpe diem and Murray like this.
  15. Murray

    Murray Active Member

    In a way, I almost feel sorry for Harriet that her natural singing voice is so similar to Karen's. It can't be easy for her always being compared to Karen, when she is trying to build a career for herself on her own merits. Every interview she does, the first thing out of the interviewer's mouth is inevitably to mention how much she sounds like Karen, and I'm sure that Harriet is tired of hearing it already, if not outright annoyed (she told one interviewer, rather tersely, "Karen is Karen, and I'm me").

    I agree with James that Harriet is far from an impersonator. When I hear "impersonator", I think of all the guys dressed like Elvis, or tribute bands like "Bjorn Again" - performing the songs of the person/band they are mimicking. Harriet writes her own original songs (something Karen never did), and also does covers of songs she likes, from such diverse artists as 10cc, Michael Jackson, The Police, Michael Buble, Spice Girls, and S Club 7 - but not Carpenters songs! She couldn't look more unlike Karen (she's a tall, blue-eyed blonde), she doesn't dress like her, she doesn't play the drums, she employs female backing singers in her band, and there isn't an oboe in sight! :laugh: What she does have in common with Karen is a similar timbre / tone, or as I would describe it, "resonance", although they don't share the same range (Karen could sing lower, while Harriet can sing higher). They also are both "crooners", not ones to needlessly embellish their vocals, and able to convey genuine emotion in their interpretation of a song - all qualities that I appreciate in any singer, female or male.

    Ultimately, the way I look at it is, I've been a fan of Carpenters for going on 47 years. I've listened to all of their recordings more times than I can remember. I also enjoy a lot of other music, much of which is very different to what Richard and Karen produced. In the 34 years since Karen passed, I have even become a fairly serious fan of a small handful of other artists, but none of those have given me the consistent "chills" that Karen's voice did - until Harriet. There's just no way that I'm going to deny myself that experience! :) It's also nice to once again, as it was in 1970, follow an artist from the beginning, anticipating each new release.

    Once I got over the initial "wow factor" of the similarities between Karen and Harriet - the more I listen to Harriet, the more I can hear the differences as well, and it's all good to me. I know that preferences in music are a very personal thing, but I think it would be a shame to simply write off Harriet without at least giving her music a chance first.
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2017
  16. song4u

    song4u Well-Known Member

    To each their own. Harriet isn't the only singer I listen to. Over time, in my opinion, she has improved her vocal control. I do like very much some of the ballads she writes. When I hear a particularly moving one, I am reminded of Karen Carpenter, as she was a knockout with a mournful ballad.
    Jamesj75 and Carpe diem like this.
  17. garyjo777

    garyjo777 Member

    I was going to reply to some of the comments made, but I see some have answered for me. I particularly agree with James and Murray. Thanks, guys. I could say more but you have covered my thoughts.
    kacfansue, Murray and Jamesj75 like this.

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