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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. ****

    14 vote(s)
  3. ***

    38 vote(s)
  4. **

    8 vote(s)
  5. *

    1 vote(s)
  1. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Well-Known Member

    Record Mirror (UK)
    A Kind of Hush Album Review June 19, 1976


    I like this one...thrills oh yeah...love this song!!
    Record Mirror
    INTBIL Single Review June 26, 1976

  2. Mark-T

    Mark-T Well-Known Member

    As much as I love it, I have to say that listening to Hush immediately after Horizon is almost like listening to a different duo. Not a bad thing necessarily, but it is very different in tone.
  3. Carpe diem

    Carpe diem Well-Known Member

    Upon further review...the more I hear this album the better I like it. Two of the "fillers", One More Time & I Have You are outstanding "Karen Moments". Just great vocal performances, wonderfully arranged. And I am finding myself getting more receptive to Sandy, Boat To Sail, and dare I say, Goofus...(there, I said it!). This album is a better effort than I first realized, and a pleasant surprise.
    Jamesj75 and GaryAlan like this.
  4. Mark-T

    Mark-T Well-Known Member

    One More Time continues to grow into being one of my all time favorites. What can I say about Boat to Sail that I haven't said before? Just love it.
  5. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Listening to this LP, side one then flipping to side two, as originally delivered--
    it strikes me that the album is better than it is usually given credit for....
    Notwithstanding Richard Carpenter down-grading it through the years,
    the album has its strengths. Horizon--it is not--but, still, that's not a fair comparison to make.
    (1) I Need To Be In Love, One More Time, Boat To Sail, I Have You.....that's a great sequence for side two.
    Each of those songs are strong, in my opinion.
    (2) The Hush remake, that is still one of my all-time-favorites !
    (3) Goofus, perhaps not single-worthy, but an excellent arrangement.
    (4) Had the beefier arrangement for Can't Smile Without You been used, a winner.
    ( When was a decision made to record that additional arrangement ? I wonder....)
    (5) As I've said previously, Sandy is the weak link here--in my opinion.
    (6) You--what a great song.
    (7) Breaking Up...well, I do not really care for it, but, I would if it had been the slower version.

    The artwork for the entire LP, cover, sleeve, vinyl...very nice.

    So, all-in-all, not a bad LP by any stretch of the imagination.

    Liner Notes on the 40th Set includes this by Richard Carpenter:
    "Karen dealt with many career problems better than I."
    Carpe diem and Jamesj75 like this.
  6. Jamesj75

    Jamesj75 Well-Known Member

    @GaryAlan, I am in virtually complete agreement with you! Yet I actually like "Breaking Up...." However, I would have preferred the slow version as well.
  7. I never get tired of playing this album. Tonight I found the "Iconic Images" website; featuring Ed Caraeff photos. They don't show any "Horizon" pics (odd), but they do show 4 "Hush"-era pics. There are a few more on Pinterest; with Karen playing with Ed's dog (and cat), looking happy, natural and pretty. How I wish these had been included on the "Hush" inner sleeve! These photos show a more human side to Karen. Instead, a static, not-so-healthy-looking Karen pic was chosen for the inner sleeve. Perhaps someone at A&M thought it might be too similar to the Captain & Tennille albums featuring their pups?!
  8. Tony

    Tony Active Member

    I realize I'm in the minority, but AKOH is one of my favorite C's albums. I've played it much more than, say, Horizon or Made in America. In particular, Sandy, You, Boat to Sail, One More Time, I Can't Smile Without You, and even Goofus are songs I like a great deal. To my ears, Karen's laidback vocals never sounded better and were in sync with the times, and some of the harmonies are about as sweet as they get.
    sussex salvo and Jamesj75 like this.
  9. David A

    David A Well-Known Member

    When I listen to this album, at the end I feel like I've been listening to one long extended song. There's something overly homogenized about the album's sound; and whether dictated by song choice or her personal choice, Karen is now fully in the mode of singing with a more controlled, smoothed vocal style. Her voice is always beautiful; but there's something missing for me, as there is at times with her singing post-1975. I am one to rarely agree with music critics; but their frequent use of the word "bland" for this album, seems about right. And I think Richard has correctly been critical of this effort.

    Songs I like: I Need to Be in Love (best song on the album), Boat to Sail, A Kind of Hush.

  10. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    I always found it interesting to read Tom Nolan's Notes for Passage:
    "....another listen to their previous albums---beginning with the last two,
    the superb A Kind of Hush and the sublime Horizon..."

    Wonder if those are truly his sentiments ?
  11. Someday

    Someday Active Member

    I've been listening to Hush again recently and still think it's pretty much perfect. The tracks are well sequenced and flow into each other. The whole album has a kind of 'late Summer' feel; a warm glow as if Autumn is on the way but not quite yet. I somehow think the 'feel' of this album is epitomised by the gorgeous inner sleeve photography. Maybe there are no stand-out hits (although INTBIL should have done better), but if you listen properly you can hear the work that has gone into it - there's an awful lot going on, as usual, but it's easy to get seduced by the lead vocal. And weren't the Cs really busy at this time with the TV Special and touring later on? If you think in terms of how much they packed into a short time, the album is pretty special.
    Tony and Harry like this.
  12. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    ^^You make a good point--one that I always focus upon--
    just because there are no "big stand-out hits" does not imply a "bad" album !
    Many folks love the Tan LP, it has three big ones: For All We Know, Superstar, Rainy Days.
    But, I've never felt that the Tan album was a great album. Some great "hits" certainly.
    A Kind Of Hush may not be full of "big hits" but it does flow nicely as an actual album....
    Not to mention the superb string arrangements. And, of course, Karen's vocals--as always.
    Carpe diem, Harry and Jeff like this.
  13. Mark-T

    Mark-T Well-Known Member

    To me, Goofus and Breaking Up its Hard to do are much better than Druscilla Penny and on par with (but very different from) Saturday.
    GaryAlan likes this.
  14. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Am I the only one who thinks that the LP might have performed better if released sooner than
    June 11, 1976 ?
    Isn't the Cover photo/artwork depicting a "wintery" feel ?
    Not really a "summer" record.....
  15. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Well-Known Member

    ^^Which leads me to wonder how important is an album cover? This would make a great thread of discussion. Do you label albums a certain way just because of the cover? Does a cover make you feel a certain way about the music that lies inside? Would people feel the same way about Horizon if the album cover looked like Close to You?
    Jamesj75 likes this.
  16. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Of course, being a fan, it was always the music which compelled me to purchase an album.
    But, I can imagine the casual consumer, in the 'old' days-- in a record-store,
    passing right-on by Made In America.....merely based on outward appearances.....
    (In fact, that was the one that I found almost hidden in the store, whereas Voice Of The Heart
    was quite prominently displayed--even played--in the record store; yet, those two charted about the same !
    Also, I cannot count the number of instances where Carpenters' records/tapes/cds
    (1) Shelved in a different "category"---say, vocals or 'easy listening' instead of the "pop" section.
    And, that placement varied from store to store...that cannot be good for impulse sales...
    (2) Not alphabetized properly....how hard is it to find C...A...R...P....etc., so a consumer had to flip through
    all of the "C" artists before arriving--finally--at Carpenters !
    (3) How many times have we all--we fans--fronted the albums ! Placed them first in a row of records !
    I'm guilty of that one.....
    jaredjohnfisher and Jamesj75 like this.
  17. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Well-Known Member

    I get more of an autumn feel from the cover. Like a Thanksgiving-time-frame in early-October.
  18. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    Yeah that’s how I think of it too. Definitely autumnal in the atmosphere the artwork portrays. It may have done better if released around September, as some of the tracks have that autumnal, introspective feel to them. Even more so in the case of Horizon.
  19. Mark-T

    Mark-T Well-Known Member

    I did buy my first Olivia album and the first of Norah Jones because uhhh, I liked what they looked like. Shallow I know, but once I heard them, I did find I liked the music too.
    Murray likes this.
  20. Harry

    Harry Charter A&M Corner Member Moderator

  21. Murray

    Murray Well-Known Member

    My first Olivia album, "Have You Never Been Mellow", was a gift from my sister for my 15th birthday. When she handed it to me, she teased, "I got you this, because I figured that even if you don't like the music, at least you can stare at the picture. Try not to drool on it!" :shock: Well, it took only one listen, and I was a fan for life, and to this day, it's still one of my favorite album covers! Seems that my sister correctly guessed my taste in music... and women. :laugh:
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2018
    Mark-T and AM Matt like this.
  22. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Well-Known Member

    Argh where is the rest of the article? Lol
    I completely agree with it so far....
    Geographer likes this.
  23. Mike Blakesley

    Mike Blakesley Well-Known Member Moderator

    I have always wondered about the effect of an album cover on sales. After many years in the biz, I came to the conclusion that while a great cover may help an album sell a little better, a lousy cover can hurt an album tremendously. I saw many a great album sit there on the shelves because the cover just wasn't compelling enough in relation to other albums.

    I thought the Hush cover looked more like a "Carpenters album" than Passage or Horizon did...and it was a very attractive cover, so that might have helped sales a little. But, by this point, they were famous enough that a cover of theirs just needed to be eye-catching more than anything else. Fans just needed to know it was there. Look at how well the Singles album sold, and that was probably one of the plainest covers of the '70s. (Or consider the Beatles' white album, which didn't even have a title or any artwork to speak of.) So I doubt the "autumnal" tone of the cover had much effect on sales either way.

    The one huge injustice of the Hush album to me is, I thought "I Need to Be In Love" should have been a much bigger single. Almost everyone agrees it's one of their finest arrangements. I pegged it for top ten material. But, their career trajectory was in decline at this point and not even that great song could reverse it. If that song had been included, say, on the Now and Then album instead of "Heather," it could have been a huge followup to "Sing."
  24. Murray

    Murray Well-Known Member

    Rick, you can actually read that tiny, tiny print? I'm impressed! :bowdown2:

    You must have a good optometrist! :blinkeye::blinkeye:
  25. Harry

    Harry Charter A&M Corner Member Moderator

    That article was found on an image search. I think it's an eBay item. I used the Magnify function in Windows to be able to read it, and found it rather accurate for a current review, looking back at it with hindsight.
    Geographer likes this.

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