THIS is the reason I did the recent interview with Richard. People who don't understand the marriage concept of vocal PLUS arrangement/production value (not to mention ability to write and pick a great song) are missing it completely. Was Karen the very best there was?! Absolutely!!!! Did she front the group?! YES! But I think even tho there are so many who might say that without Karen there would have been no Richard, and all of the past interviews focus on Karen and her life and tragedy, there DEFINITELY would not have been a Carpenters without Richard - and I'm not referring to the last name. That was Richard's interview...Album reviews not withstanding ( i.e., Rob Horning's above):
I have always been a staunch advocate of Richard's arrangements.
Overall, I consider Richard Carpenter a musical genius when it comes to pop music arrangements.
Although, some (especially the professional music critics_?_) decry his lush, sentimental arrangements, it has always been my personal
opinion that his use of instrumentation and 'filling-up' a song with those lovely strings,keyboards, horns, oboes, drums (etcetera) always
(or, nearly always) enhanced Karen's vocal delivery of their recordings. He enveloped her vocals with an added layer of beauty.
I find it hard to fathom another who could have pulled off , so brilliantly, the arrangements of, say, We've Only Just Begun,
Superstar, Only Yesterday, to name just a few.
Obviously (at least, to me), they can't all be pop music masterpieces (and who maintains a perfect batting average,anyway?),
but Richard Carpenter comes pretty close to perfection for my ears.
If Karen is The Voice of Carpenters, Richard is the mastermind behind so many brilliantly arranged songs.