Replying to an old post but dang, loved that phrase. I have spent way too many hours debating the "value" of the Carpenters' music with some of my, err, "music-snob" friends, many of whom follow(ed) music critics like they were some wise Tibetan monks. It's as if they wait for the approval of critics before choosing to like or dislike something. Pathetic, really. An aside - I am an artist and have written and illustrated professionally (in another life called the 1990's) and so, as an "artist" I am _expected_ to have "artistic sensibilities" about music...and should "know better" when it comes to the value of the Carpenters music. I'm proud to disappoint them.