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

HOW WOULD YOU RATE THIS ALBUM?

  • ***** (BEST)

    Votes: 5 7.0%
  • ****

    Votes: 17 23.9%
  • ***

    Votes: 40 56.3%
  • **

    Votes: 8 11.3%
  • *

    Votes: 1 1.4%

  • Total voters
    71

Geographer

Well-Known Member
I'd choose the Hush album over MIA any day. And I do. (Not to say I don't like MIA. There's just no comparison for me.)
I'm just the opposite. MIA all day over AKOH. I really felt like I got my monies worth on MIA...excellent production, polished performances by Karen, ballad to up-beat in the track list, and a modern (at the time) take on the classic sound. AKOH sounds too "dialed-in." Of course, I have the same criticism for VOTH which doesn't make me too popular here, either.
 

Jarred

Well-Known Member
MIA is nowhere near perfect, but I just hear more inspiration and freshness to it than Hush. I won’t go into the politics of what happened behind the scenes now, but even with all that turmoil both sound more invigorated here than in 1976 when recording.
 

Jarred

Well-Known Member
I'm just the opposite. MIA all day over AKOH. I really felt like I got my monies worth on MIA...excellent production, polished performances by Karen, ballad to up-beat in the track list, and a modern (at the time) take on the classic sound. AKOH sounds too "dialed-in." Of course, I have the same criticism for VOTH which doesn't make me too popular here, either.
I was hearing MIA last night after Hush and it’s like night and day. Karen sounds much better and like you’ve mentioned before there’s a fresh “California” sound to it that was there in the beginning (though it’s not on par with those early classics). Even something which sounds a little desperate for AirPlay like Back in My Life is still fun and glimmering, and gives some nice energy to it. There’s excellent flow of tone on side 1 particularly.
 

ThaFunkyFakeTation

Ah am so steel een luv weeth yoo
MIA is nowhere near perfect, but I just hear more inspiration and freshness to it than Hush. I won’t go into the politics of what happened behind the scenes now, but even with all that turmoil both sound more invigorated here than in 1976 when recording.
I think Karen sounds like a cog in a machine on MIA. Richard’s arranging tendencies were moving into Jim Steinman just-put-it-all-in-there territory. Touch Me could have been amazing and it’s redeemed for me only by Richard’s vocal arrangements. Otherwise, it’s elevator all the way. Everything is. Even when he tries for edge on Back In My Life Again, he still slathers it in orchestration it doesn’t need that completely cheeses it out. The vocal arrangement is the only thing worth hearing.

Through it all, Karen is just another instrument in the arrangements; she’s not the centerpiece. That’s the biggest mistake of all. She’s the draw; he’s not. On MIA, he forgot that.

Ed
 

Mark-T

Well-Known Member
Through it all, Karen is just another instrument in the arrangements; she’s not the centerpiece. That’s the biggest mistake of all. She’s the draw; he’s not. On MIA, he forgot that.
I'm not sure he forgot her, but she just feels more in the background than on Hush. And as much as I think he is a genius, it is Karen's voice I fell in love with.
 

Jarred

Well-Known Member
I think Karen sounds like a cog in a machine on MIA. Richard’s arranging tendencies were moving into Jim Steinman just-put-it-all-in-there territory. Touch Me could have been amazing and it’s redeemed for me only by Richard’s vocal arrangements. Otherwise, it’s elevator all the way. Everything is. Even when he tries for edge on Back In My Life Again, he still slathers it in orchestration it doesn’t need that completely cheeses it out. The vocal arrangement is the only thing worth hearing.

Through it all, Karen is just another instrument in the arrangements; she’s not the centerpiece. That’s the biggest mistake of all. She’s the draw; he’s not. On MIA, he forgot that.

Ed
I get all that, really. And it doesn’t touch (overall) their 1970-75 output but it has more to it, even in Karen’s performances that can often be buried, I still hear something from her that I don’t hear much on Hush. @Geographer gets me haha
 

John Adam

Well-Known Member
If "you" have not heard it, here is the composer singing his own song,
Randy Edelman and You:
Had never heard this before, although I've heard of the songwriter. Would of been a nice duet with Karen at the time, although it's pretty mellow, it would of been beautiful non-the-less. Did this chart as an AC single anyway?
 

GDB2LV

Well-Known Member
It charted in England. I wish Carpenters would have released it instead of Goofus as a the last single from the album. I think it would have had better success. Still my favorite album cut from their entire catalog. The arrangement and background vocals are some of their best they ever recorded.
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
It charted in England. I wish Carpenters would have released it instead of Goofus as a the last single from the album. I think it would have had better success. Still my favorite album cut from their entire catalog. The arrangement and background vocals are some of their best they ever recorded.
I do have a soft spot for the song, but it’s poorly mastered, along with the whole album. It’s in desperate need of a remix.
 

GDB2LV

Well-Known Member
The original version had a spot where there was a slight drop out, and it always bothered me, just like Karen singing Tumtimes on Crystal Lullaby, but it’s been corrected on current vinyl and cd releases. A better mix than before anyway. A total remix like Top of the World received would have been even better though.
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
By the way, here is how Rolling Stone (2004 Album Guide) reviews their output:
One Star: Voice of the Heart...Lovelines
One and a half Star: Made in America
Two Stars: Offering...Now & Then...Passage...Christmas Portrait
Two and One-half Stars: Close To You...Horizon...A Kind of Hush...From The Top
Three Stars: The Singles 1969-1973...Love Songs
Four Stars: Carpenters...A Song For You

I say, absurd.
 

Geographer

Well-Known Member
By the way, here is how Rolling Stone (2004 Album Guide) reviews their output:
One Star: Voice of the Heart...Lovelines
One and a half Star: Made in America
Two Stars: Offering...Now & Then...Passage...Christmas Portrait
Two and One-half Stars: Close To You...Horizon...A Kind of Hush...From The Top
Three Stars: The Singles 1969-1973...Love Songs
Four Stars: Carpenters...A Song For You

I say, absurd.
Rolling Stone is just terrible. There is nothing K&R would put out that they didn't like. Really? Horizon and AKOH have the same rating? Lovelines is rated lower than Offering? NONE of the albums rated less than three stars in my book. Another absurdity.
 

Carpe diem

Well-Known Member
^^Agree. Aside from the "Up From Downey" article, Rolling Stone Magazine had nothing but contempt for the duo. They never took the time to seriously review their albums in a objective way.
 

ThaFunkyFakeTation

Ah am so steel een luv weeth yoo
If "you" have not heard it, here is the composer singing his own song,
Randy Edelman and You:
Nice listen. Richard did very little in terms of re-thinking the tune. Some words were changed, he added background vocal parts, changed the key for a female, and the song comes to a hard stop rather than a fade-out. Otherwise, same basic thing. Of course, Karen's voice makes this "must hear" regardless.

Ed
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
I do wish the remixed Can't Smile Without You had appeared on the original album.
Now, I took another listen to Manilow's version. Terrible arrangement and vocals in my opinion,
obviously a large section of society disagrees with me !
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
1976 Radio and Records Year-end Airplay Awards
Artist Of The Year: CAPTAIN & TENNILLE, three top ten records, two number one.
Male Vocalist Of The Year: BARRY MANILOW, three top ten records.
Female Vocalist Of The Year: OLIVIA NEWTON -JOHN, three top ten records.
New Artist Of The Year: DARYL HALL & JOHN OATES

R & R Top 76 of 1976:
#16 Muskrat Love
#44 There's a Kind of Hush


It was a losing battle for the duo in 1976.
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
I know there has been debate regards the choir on I Need To Be In Love,
and, it is hard to be the 1978 live version of the song,
but.....this is another instance where (imho) Richard's arrangement perfectly enhances the album.
In fact, the 1976 Album mix is my favorite mix, in the sense that it is a great "fit" for the album.
Also, think of how audacious it was to release this song-- as a single-- in 1976.
That took guts.
Beautiful song.
 

John Adam

Well-Known Member
I know there has been debate regards the choir on I Need To Be In Love,
and, it is hard to be the 1978 live version of the song,
but.....this is another instance where (imho) Richard's arrangement perfectly enhances the album.
In fact, the 1976 Album mix is my favorite mix, in the sense that it is a great "fit" for the album.
Also, think of how audacious it was to release this song-- as a single-- in 1976.
That took guts.
Beautiful song.
Gary, in your above post, did you mean "it's hard to "beat" the 1978 live version of the song?"
As far as the lyric, it was meant for Karen to sing regardless of it's arrangement, hit potential, whatever. She just "owns" this song, period!
 
I know there has been debate regards the choir on I Need To Be In Love,
and, it is hard to be the 1978 live version of the song,
but.....this is another instance where (imho) Richard's arrangement perfectly enhances the album.
In fact, the 1976 Album mix is my favorite mix, in the sense that it is a great "fit" for the album.
Also, think of how audacious it was to release this song-- as a single-- in 1976.
That took guts.
Beautiful song.
I have to agree with you about that...I just relistened to the album this week and realized how much I liked that original recording of IKINTBIL, after hearing the recent re-do on the new album.
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
Clarifying my words for John Adam: I did mean to write the word "beat" !
Thanks for catching that.

By the way, the Reader's Digest liner notes has Karen commenting on There's A Kind of Hush:
"I like that song, it didn't do what we thought it would, but I like it anyway."

I want to add my two cents on that song.
I do not know where the misconception arises that Hush is a weak song.
Put the album on, turn up the volume, revel in all the great things happening in that song.
It is NOT a weak arrangement and Karen performs the song beautifully.
It is a great cover.
 

Brian

Well-Known Member
I know there has been debate regards the choir on I Need To Be In Love,
and, it is hard to be the 1978 live version of the song,
but.....this is another instance where (imho) Richard's arrangement perfectly enhances the album.
In fact, the 1976 Album mix is my favorite mix, in the sense that it is a great "fit" for the album.
Also, think of how audacious it was to release this song-- as a single-- in 1976.
That took guts.
Beautiful song.
I also like the original mix of 'I Need To Be in Love', choir and all. I think this original version is one of Carpenters' best recordings, as is.
 
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