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Official Review [Album]: "A KIND OF HUSH" (SP-4581)

Discussion in 'A Song For You: The Carpenters Forum' started by Chris May, Jul 1, 2013.


  1. ***** (BEST)

    5 vote(s)
  2. ****

    11 vote(s)
  3. ***

    34 vote(s)
  4. **

    7 vote(s)
  5. *

    1 vote(s)
  1. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Active Member

    Did you include in your count Sandy's appearance on Richard's solo album?
  2. John Tkacik

    John Tkacik Active Member

    There is also a fantastic close-up photo of Karen from this same photo shoot on the rear panel of the trifold album cover of their 1979 Japanese release "The First 10 Years". I was hoping to use it as part of a comment to the February Facebook posting of the "I Need To Be In Love" documentary but that doesn't appear to be an available option.
    Brian likes this.
  3. Brian

    Brian Active Member

    I listened to the complete album yesterday for the first time in years and I honestly still feel that 'Goofus' is one of the highlights. The other two really good songs / performances are 'I Need to Be In Love' and 'One More Time', in my opinion. Karen's performance of 'You' is not as good as I remembered, but I found 'Sandy' more enjoyable than I had in the past, from memory. I think that 'Can't Smile Without You' is a good song, but Karen sounds feeble, dull and tired. The album actually contains a lot of whispery vocals. Btw, I also listened to some of the tracks on vinyl yesterday. I discovered that if you slow the record down a bit, it brings more warmth and fullness to Karen's vocals. :) I loved this album from my early teens onwards. When I was thirteen, I would not have agreed with the criticisms I am writing now. I still found the album enjoyable to listen to, partly for sentimentality's sake, but certainly recognised weaknesses.
  4. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    Karen sounds like that on pretty much the whole album. Nowhere is it more evident than on the track I Have You. Her doubled lead makes it sound like she turned up to the studio to do it only because she was contractually obliged. I don't think I've listened to that song in 20 years. It epitomises the whole tired, listless feel of the entire album.
    goodjeans likes this.
  5. Brian

    Brian Active Member

    Thanks for posting this, GaryAlan. Wow! Seems that Karen and Richard had a lot of work to do before preparing their version for recording, in terms of tidying up the lyrics and working out phrasing that fitted. It sounds as if Randy Edelman recorded a rough idea the night he thought of it, instead of a polished song.
  6. Chris Mills

    Chris Mills Well-Known Member

    Interested in knowing your opinion of the recording quality of this album on vinyl compared to Horizon.
  7. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    I love the song.....
    I Have You....great lyrical content, excellent utilization of stringed instruments,
    .....Karen does her best singing this song, but, I do wonder if the background vocals
    are "holding it back"......is Richard doing any of the background vocals on this song ?
    This one seems to be lacking in multi-stacked harmonies in the background (?)....
    A minor quibble is that it lacks ---for want of a better word--oomph, in the over-all
    Anyway, I love the "You" songs.....I Have You and You......
    Brian likes this.
  8. Brian

    Brian Active Member

    Chris, I'll give them a listen in the next week or two. I actually have UK, Australian and Japanese pressings of 'Horizon', (the Japanese copy included a poster), and a UK and an Australian pressing of 'A Kind of Hush', (for no other reason than I found the foreign copies in 'two dollar' bins at different times). I'm not sure if my capabilities go as far as comparing all the pressings from the different countries, though. :)
    Chris Mills likes this.
  9. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Well-Known Member

    Goofus Single Review Cashbox Aug 28, 1976

    Chris Mills, Jeff, GaryAlan and 2 others like this.
  10. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Well-Known Member

    Cashbox Nov 27, 1976

  11. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Well-Known Member

    Record World June 19, 1976

  12. theninjarabbit

    theninjarabbit Well-Known Member

    I believe I speak for the crew when I say "thanks for the scans" Rick!! :D
  13. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    I may have mentioned previously that
    I Need To Be In Love,
    as presented on the big UK Album Collection
    is the short mix without the piano opening.
    This has escaped me all this time !
    I had simply assumed that the LP version was represented
    on this Collection !

    My Question then, is this:
    What determines that "intro" factor ? That is, whether--or, not--
    to include that extended piano opening.
    Is that Richard's contribution to the song, or is it Hammond's ?
  14. I believe the long piano intro was removed in order to shorten the single down to around 3:30. The true single edit also has a switch from a narrow stereo to wider stereo after 4 seconds. In 1985, Richard "fixed" that part in addition to whatever other remixing he did, but kept the mix shorter. That mix ended up on a number of early CDs, including the first release of A KIND OF HUSH on CD.
  15. ars nova

    ars nova Active Member

    I am in agreement with you. if DANCING IN THE STREETS would have replaced TAKOH, this would have been very high on the charts. there were enough ballads on this album so CSWY could have been omitted and something a bit more provocative in its place. I have always liked GOOFUS, it's kind of off the wall, definitely not a single, I remember yelling NO!!!! I first heard it on the radio. I have often wondered how it would be as a Richard vocal. BUIHTD is just a sad mess, it should have been saved as a FROM THE VAULTS collection.
    Geographer likes this.
  16. Chris Mills

    Chris Mills Well-Known Member

    This is the CD that has the remix of I Need To Be In Love without the piano intro (great remix), also the CD contained the remix of A Kind Of Hush (again a great remix). Unfortunately the remaining tracks on the album did not transfer correctly to CD, the tracks sound muffled, the wind, strings and percussion have all lost their high frequencies.
    Apparently this problem was sorted with the 30th Anniversary release. Exactly the opposite to what happened to Passage, sounded great on the original A&M CD, but sounded muddy on the 30th edition.

  17. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    ^^Yes, Chris...that is the exact CD which I have !
    I never understood why that "intro" was cut from I Need To Be In Love.....
    As for Goofus....as a single, perhaps not...but, a terrific offering from the duo
    from an arranging and vocal perspective.
    Again, I've loved
    There's A Kind Of Hush
    from first hear in 1976,
    keep the synth parts there !
    Chris Mills likes this.
  18. All mentioned in the Resource.
  19. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Listening to the song
    I feel this Carpenters' offering does fall into the
    category !
    Jeff, song4u and Chris Mills like this.
  20. Mark-T

    Mark-T Well-Known Member

    "There is also a fantastic close-up photo of Karen from this same photo shoot on the rear panel of the trifold album cover of their 1979 Japanese release "The First 10 Years". I was hoping to use it as part of a comment to the February Facebook posting of the "I Need To Be In Love" documentary but that doesn't appear to be an available option."

    John, by the way, do you have a scan of this mentioned photo you can share?
  21. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

  22. CraigGA

    CraigGA Well-Known Member

    I was 11 then. Don’t we all look great with youthful faces!

    Sorry to hear about anyone passing.

    This is the main reason I was not happy with Carpenters recording it. They barely escaped the bublegum trap with their immense talent, hits, and song selections, especially with Horizon, and then walked right into it with this song being so close in years to this version and with a bublegumish sound. Another reason for my dislike of this album that overshadowed any success from any other song on the album. You could have been a nicer song if it didn’t have such a bland arrangement and most never heard it for it was on the album that chased anyone but an avid fan away.
    MorningOpensQuietly likes this.
  23. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    As much as I enjoy listening to the LP, A Kind Of Hush (especially, Goofus !),
    the above-scan (post #261)
    proclaims "A New Era for the Carpenters,"
    Richard saying : " there's a new feeling of happiness and enjoyment "

    That sentiment is not coming through on this album !
  24. CraigGA

    CraigGA Well-Known Member

    There are so many if’s on this album. Karen had just “recovered” and we expected the best. And some songs are album exceptional, just not single worthy. I like There’s A Kind Of Hush, it’s catchy and I still catch myself sometimes humming it out of nowhere. It was so close to having a dance rhythm for the time...if only a little hustle?
    You is almost a perfect song but has boring segways between phrases and verses. With just a little more interesting arrangement...?
    One More Time and Boat To Sail perfect album candy. Can’t Smile is sweet but forgetful. It seems to be a pass through from Goofus to I Need To Be In Love. The album needs a song of challenge and not an easy oven bake pie sound.
    Karen sounds great on all of them. It just needed 2 more songs. Would Ordinary Fool have been enough? It begs for more of Richard and John. It was the perfect time, and it seems they spent a lot of effort this year, especially for live productions. I can just hear concerts with Boat To Sail and Ordinary Fool with There’s A Kind Of Hush in my head. I think Jambalaya had been run into the ground by 1976 on live shows. The jazz feel would have played well for Richard on the keyboard. Then, You after the medley would have played well into Our Day Will Come, then follow into I Need To Be In Love. I think that after Horizon, the 1976 Album should have fared better with more light Jazz to direct away from the easy easy listening sofa feel. Karen seemed to be in perfect voice that year! If....? They had it all!!
  25. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Well-Known Member

    I got this LP sealed a few years ago and came with all the promo stickers on the front. I noticed after needle dropping this LP a few days ago that the sound mastering doesn't hold up against LP's recorded before and after this LP. The sound on the original Horizon LP is spectacular...it's like Karen is sitting right in front of you and Passage sounds just as amazing nice high and rich lows with great volume level.

    I know that AKOH contains a lot of ballads but it lacks the punchy feel of the albums recorded before and after this one. What would contribute to this? The studio they recorded in or different sound boards or mic equipment? So far I've been blown away at how much I've missed hearing all these original LP's but when I got to AKOH I didn't get that same excited feeling from the vinyl.
    byline likes this.

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