• Two exciting new Carpenters releases are now available. The new book Carpenters: The Musical Legacy can be ordered here. A big thanks to the authors and Richard Carpenter for their tremendous effort in compiling this book! Also, the new solo piano album Richard Carpenter's Piano Songbook is available for ordering here.

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

HOW WOULD YOU RATE THIS ALBUM?

  • ***** (BEST)

    Votes: 6 7.1%
  • ****

    Votes: 19 22.6%
  • ***

    Votes: 46 54.8%
  • **

    Votes: 12 14.3%
  • *

    Votes: 1 1.2%

  • Total voters
    84

Kacfan

Well-Known Member
Per a discussion on the Horizon thread, sharing this "tinker."


"One More Time," slowed down by quarter of a semitone (-0.719%) from the AM+ DIDX disc
Amazing thank you. Let me please compare this to perfume. If karen’s best Voice is like a favourite perfume in the Parfum concentration, then in the faster / sped up songs it becomes like a eau de Parfum, same essence but not quite the same depth of enjoyment. Thank you so much! All these years and now finally you gave me the answer. I noticed very obviously sped songs before : like some versions of i won’t last a day without you, the superstar rainy days and Monday and goodbye to love trilogy on some collections, ave Maria on from the top etc. but these i hadn’t thought was the same issue . I just felt something was different.
 

Cuyler

Bright colored pinwheels go 'round in my head.
Amazing thank you. Let me please compare this to perfume. If karen’s best Voice is like a favourite perfume in the Parfum concentration, then in the faster / sped up songs it becomes like a eau de Parfum, same essence but not quite the same depth of enjoyment. Thank you so much! All these years and now finally you gave me the answer. I noticed very obviously sped songs before : like some versions of i won’t last a day without you, the superstar rainy days and Monday and goodbye to love trilogy on some collections, ave Maria on from the top etc. but these i hadn’t thought was the same issue . I just felt something was different.
Thank you! I felt like I was crazy at times... I'll send you a private message, because Voice of the Heart had a similar situation. I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts. :D
 

David A

Well-Known Member
I know that, as people get older, their hearing generally becomes less sharp (no pun intended).

I'll attribute that to why, when I listen to these songs and clips, I hear no meaningful difference (except on rare occasions when something has been "sped up" or "slowed down" considerably, as is the case in a few release instances that are well documented).

When I first got out of art school, I spent a couple of years driving myself crazy - noticing things that were slightly out of proper perspective, or having conversations with people where their underlying facial bone structure was evident to me in terms of proportion and "type". Very distracting. I eventually got away from doing that, thank heavens.

I wonder if Audiophiles are similar in the same sense, a sort of hyper-awareness of these kinds of otherwise very subtle nuances in the music.
 

Cuyler

Bright colored pinwheels go 'round in my head.
I wonder if Audiophiles are similar in the same sense, a sort of hyper-awareness of these kinds of otherwise very subtle nuances in the music.
I definitely think so. There are some times, for instance, when I hear a CD pressing and find myself not being able to enjoy it for one reason or another (too loud, too fast, etc.) but there are other times when I find CD pressings and I melt because it sounds so good to my ears. I think each person has their sensitivities to their own things -- for instance, I can tolerate a master being higher on the treble or higher in the bass; others prefer only masters/mixes with a strong, thumpy bass.
 

Mark-T

Well-Known Member
I know that, as people get older, their hearing generally becomes less sharp (no pun intended).

I'll attribute that to why, when I listen to these songs and clips, I hear no meaningful difference (except on rare occasions when something has been "sped up" or "slowed down" considerably, as is the case in a few release instances that are well documented).

When I first got out of art school, I spent a couple of years driving myself crazy - noticing things that were slightly out of proper perspective, or having conversations with people where their underlying facial bone structure was evident to me in terms of proportion and "type". Very distracting. I eventually got away from doing that, thank heavens.

I wonder if Audiophiles are similar in the same sense, a sort of hyper-awareness of these kinds of otherwise very subtle nuances in the music.
Maybe so! As I age, I also notice most things aren't as important to me as they once were.
 

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
I know that, as people get older, their hearing generally becomes less sharp (no pun intended).

I'll attribute that to why, when I listen to these songs and clips, I hear no meaningful difference (except on rare occasions when something has been "sped up" or "slowed down" considerably, as is the case in a few release instances that are well documented).

When I first got out of art school, I spent a couple of years driving myself crazy - noticing things that were slightly out of proper perspective, or having conversations with people where their underlying facial bone structure was evident to me in terms of proportion and "type". Very distracting. I eventually got away from doing that, thank heavens.

I wonder if Audiophiles are similar in the same sense, a sort of hyper-awareness of these kinds of otherwise very subtle nuances in the music.
I know what you mean. Whenever I see people list “lines of resolution” for analog video like VHS or Betacam SP, I seriously have to question if they are serious, since for analog, “lines of resolution” and the Kell Factor is extremely subjective. (Even back in the 30’s when the RCA engineers came up with the “lines of resolution”, they only came up with it because RCA’s marketing wanted something that they could print in flyers and marketing materials; it’s like the cosmetics industry slap “hypoallergenic” on everything and yet it means absolutely nothing). Yes you could use a test pattern board to determine how much resolution you are seeing, but then you have the question of how good the equipment is (consumer vs professional), technology level (I.e. video camera that used video tubes versus a CCD computer chip)/tape speed (I.e. VHS SP is going to have higher resolution than a SLP/EP recording) and even the age of the people viewing the test, since someone in their 20’s and 30’s is going to have better sight than a person in their 50’s or 60’s. Whereas digital, you have a definite number of pixels.
 
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JohnFB

I was born to belong to the lines of a song...
As usual, I am forever "re-evaluating" Carpenters' recordings.
One song I listened to last night was "I Have You."
This song, in my opinion, is absolutely gorgeous !
The song itself is mature and sophisticated. The string arrangement is heavenly.
I suppose one could argue that it falls outside of the "pop" genre, being a bit too soft,
but, it is still beautiful.
I searched for a reference to this song and found this on the "Hush" album thread from Feb. of this year, and it seems like a good jumping off point for what I want to say about it - so I thank @GaryAllen for his post and enthusiasm.


I listened to this recording on my way home from Trap Shooting yesterday afternoon, and ended up replaying it 4 more times. And it is all that Gary says.

Now, I've heard it any number of times before and always enjoyed it considerably. It is beautiful - in an "old school" sort of way, like a number of other songs that were transitional between the superb tunes of The Great American Songbook and the better, more melodic songs of the early Rock Era.

And the lyrics by John Bettis are mature and sophisticated to a surprising extent, and can be considered a preview of the coming attraction that would find full fruition in his literary masterpiece "I Need To Be in Love". Both songs were paired, of course, with compellingly lovely melodies from the creative mind of Richard.

Even the structure of the song is unique: 2 5-line verses followed by a chorus, then just 1 5-line verse followed by the chorus again, but this time with different lyrics (a rare occurence), followed by a repeat of the 2nd half of the chorus, but with a third set of lyrics.

So, if John was indeed an ardent admirer of Karen then the lyrics of the 1st verse are his wonderful description of or tribute to her:

"I have always been a dreamer
Followed visions of my own
I was born to belong
To the lines of a song
And make then my home."

Brilliant! No one was more at home in the lines of a song than Karen.

"I Have You" was considered good enough to be released as the B side of two singles released from "Hush", "All You Get..." and "Sweet, Sweet Smile", but should (could) have been an A side of it's own - as a personal aside the only thing that could have improved it (and which I would love to hear someday) is the elimination of the "sonic alteration" of Karen's otherwise gorgeous lead vocal on the choruses...but that's just me.
 

Rumbahbah

Well-Known Member
"I Have You" was considered good enough to be released as the B side of two singles released from "Hush", "All You Get..." and "Sweet, Sweet Smile", but should (could) have been an A side of it's own - as a personal aside the only thing that could have improved it (and which I would love to hear someday) is the elimination of the "sonic alteration" of Karen's otherwise gorgeous lead vocal on the choruses...but that's just me.

It's worth bearing in mind that one of the chief criteria for picking Carpenters B sides seems to have been whether it was a Carpenter/Bettis co-write, which then gave them extra royalties on the single...

Have to say I find 'I Have You' quite bland and saccharine - nowhere near strong enough to have been an A side, although that said, I'd still have preferred it to 'Goofus'!
 

Cuyler

Bright colored pinwheels go 'round in my head.
It's worth bearing in mind that one of the chief criteria for picking Carpenters B sides seems to have been whether it was a Carpenter/Bettis co-write, which then gave them extra royalties on the single...

Have to say I find 'I Have You' quite bland and saccharine - nowhere near strong enough to have been an A side, although that said, I'd still have preferred it to 'Goofus'!
If they had recorded this song in any other key than the key of C#, it would have been as good as gold. I love the song itself. Not a fan of the speeding up (it currently exists between C# and D) and generally not a fan of the key of C#.
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
One of the things I really like about this album is that there is only one song significantly shorter than three minutes long (Breaking Up Is Hard To Do)
and that song occurs at the end of the album.
I still find the song I Have You to be gorgeous.

Now, in the UK: "A Kind Of Hush won gold certification where it reached No.3 and stayed on the charts from June 1976 all the way into the new year."
More here:
 

A&M Retro

Well-Known Member
It's worth bearing in mind that one of the chief criteria for picking Carpenters B sides seems to have been whether it was a Carpenter/Bettis co-write, which then gave them extra royalties on the single...

Have to say I find 'I Have You' quite bland and saccharine - nowhere near strong enough to have been an A side, although that said, I'd still have preferred it to 'Goofus'!
I'm with you on 'I Have You'. It's a pretty song, but it's just too sleepy on an already sleepy side 2. I'm still amazed they used 'I Have You' as the flip side of both 'All You Get From Love Is A Love Song' AND 'Sweet Sweet Smile'. That was odd.
 

JohnFB

I was born to belong to the lines of a song...
...

Have to say I find 'I Have You' quite bland and saccharine - nowhere near strong enough to have been an A side, although that said, I'd still have preferred it to 'Goofus'!
Well, I'm old school and don't find it bland at all, although it is very sweet (sweet sounds better than "saccharine", which literally and figuratively is an "off taste") - but I like things sweet, very sweet - I have a sweet tooth and ear drum...
 

JohnFB

I was born to belong to the lines of a song...
If they had recorded this song in any other key than the key of C#, it would have been as good as gold. I love the song itself. Not a fan of the speeding up (it currently exists between C# and D) and generally not a fan of the key of C#.
C# Major is rarely used and has a key signature with 7 sharps in it, including E# and B#, which are just the notes F & C respectively - it's enharmonic key is Db Major with 5 flats - not sure why Richard didn't transpose this to something simpler like G, D or F major - maybe he was just tired of them and wanted something a little more exotic, or a tad "sharper", so to speak...
 

Mark-T

Well-Known Member
There is a lullaby feel to "I Have You" that I think would have made it a poor choice for a single. But as an album cut, I love its gentle sentimentality and all of the vocal work.
 

JohnFB

I was born to belong to the lines of a song...
... I'm still amazed they used 'I Have You' as the flip side of both 'All You Get From Love Is A Love Song' AND 'Sweet Sweet Smile'. That was odd.
As mentioned above - Royalties! Also, it was their creation (their "baby") and they were proud of it and maybe they were hoping it would get "a life of it's own" and take off and become an unexpected big hit (as sometimes happened with B sides)...and as far as I'm concerned it is "Sweet, Sweet Smile" which is the highly suspect choice for a single here...
 
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Chris May

Resident ‘Carpenterologist’
Staff member
Moderator
Thread Starter
If they had recorded this song in any other key than the key of C#, it would have been as good as gold. I love the song itself. Not a fan of the speeding up (it currently exists between C# and D) and generally not a fan of the key of C#.

Assuming we’re talking about “I Have You,” it was actually arranged/recorded in the key of B major—or “C flat,” but we (arrangers) wouldn’t typically write it out that way.
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
Never been a fan of I Have You. It’s one of the rare times where I really dislike Karen’s harmony with herself in the choruses. The vibrato on the somewhat languid lead vocal is duplicated on the harmony line which is overkill and I think the harmony itself spoils it - it didn’t need to be there.

Having said that, I think the verses are really lovely and I have always been very fond of the line “For as rare as they are / Like a bright falling star / I found one in you”, and Karen’s heartfelt interpretation of that particular lyric.
 

Chris May

Resident ‘Carpenterologist’
Staff member
Moderator
Thread Starter
Never been a fan of I Have You. It’s one of the rare times where I really dislike Karen’s harmony with herself in the choruses. The vibrato on the lead vocal is duplicated on the harmony line which is overkill and I think the harmony itself spoils it.

Agree with this 100%! Love the background vocals in both choruses however, with the larger stack on the chorus two, but not the two-part harmony Stephen is referring to here.
 

Cuyler

Bright colored pinwheels go 'round in my head.
Assuming we’re talking about “I Have You,” it was actually arranged/recorded in the key of B major—or “C flat,” but we (arrangers) wouldn’t typically write it out that way.
It has been too long since I've touched a piano and I need to shut my mouth.

Thank you for the info, Chris!
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
Not one thing I would change with the song I Have You.
A great string arrangement, great lyrical content, great vocal lead and harmonies....
What more do I need in a song ?
They can't all be masterpieces (although I would argue that this song is almost there).
I have probably listened to this song hundreds of times.
It's a great big tasty piece of cake with frosting on it.
 

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
As mentioned above - Royalties! Also, it was their creation (their "baby") and they were proud of it and maybe they were hoping it would get "a life of it's own" and take off and become an unexpected big hit (as sometimes happened with B sides)...and as far as I'm concerned it is "Sweet, Sweet Smile" which is the highly suspect choice for a single here...
In Japan “I Have You” was the B-Side to “Breaking up Is Hard To Do”, while AYGFLIALS had “Eve” as the “B-Side”, while Smile had “Can’t Smile Without You”, and Occupants had “Mr. Guder”.
 

JohnFB

I was born to belong to the lines of a song...

They can't all be masterpieces (although I would argue that this song is almost there).
They can't? Richard could make it happen - not by adding, but by subtracting...don't get me started...

I've often wondered just how very different (and better) the Carpenters' harmony (and overall sound) would have been if Leslie Johnston (or someone else with decent vocal talent) had decided to join them in the beginning and had ended up singing along on most of the choruses where Karen double tracked herself...a pleasant but contrasting timber might have made a big difference in an otherwise dubious practice...
 
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