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Official Review [Album]: "MADE IN AMERICA" (SP-3723)

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

How Would You Rate This Album?

  1. ***** (BEST)

    11 vote(s)
  2. ****

    15 vote(s)
  3. ***

    27 vote(s)
  4. **

    20 vote(s)
  5. *

    3 vote(s)
  1. ullalume

    ullalume Well-Known Member

    Tru dat, Harry
  2. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Interestingly enough, in the Liner Notes to JP Treasures,
    Richard Carpenter writes of
    When You've Got What It Takes:
    "Catchy Roger Nichols' melody that is reminiscent of
    I Kept On Loving You..."

    It had not registered with me that this song was reminiscent of the earlier song,
    until I reread the notes.

    So, on Made In America:
    WYGWIT is reminiscent of... IKOLY
    Those Good Old Dreams is reminiscent of... Top Of The World
    Beechwood 4-5789 is reminiscent of... Please Mr. Postman
    Because We Are In Love is eerily similar to... Someday (imho).
  3. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    I read this years ago and I just don’t hear it. The two songs are nothing like each other.
    Mark-T likes this.

    WYBIMLA Active Member

    I had to take a look at those notes again...
    I like how he writes on WYGWIT "the arrangement calls for many overdubbed vocals."
    I mean, basically what that means is "I wanted to produce the heck out of the album."

    I don't hear that it has any relation to IKOLY either.

    No doubt MIA's like a call back album.

    TGODs - Yesterday Once More or Top of the World
    When you've got what it takes - Sing
    I believe you - Close to you
    Beechwood 4-5789 - Postman
    The Wedding Song - We've only just begun

    Although, the other tracks are harder to compare exactly.
    It's like comparing apples and oranges; however, a lot of similar themes over their career.
    Cheaters, Lovers, Breakups...etc.
    And fun times too with Karen crunching her elbows in the promo video. Lol

    I don't mind that Richard thought that way.

    I wonder though, if he thought differently, instead of comparing himself to himself or other writers; we'd see different results? At the end of the day, comparison is a nightmare.

    He went on about how "Your baby" reminded him of "Hurting."
    I don't really get that one either. They're separate sounds and ideas.

    For years we entertained the comparing game right along with both of them.
    Probably ingrained by their upbringing and a competitive industry.

    Why couldn't they feel as though they could be who they were?
    No apologies or trying to be anything else.
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018 at 1:37 PM
  5. Mark-T

    Mark-T Well-Known Member

    I'd add that I think Strength of a Woman opens similarly to Superstar.
  6. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Well-Known Member

    Same here. Maybe if Richard had done the vocals on When You've Got What It Takes, and sped up the melody, but I just listened to I Kept On Loving You the other day, and it is much more upbeat and brighter.
  7. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Well-Known Member

    It's a shame they were getting this kind of review on what was to be their comeback album.

    Made In America
    Stereo Review Oct 1981

  8. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    It doesn’t surprise me. It’s largely down to Richard’s intransigence at the time to widen their appeal to a new 1980s audience. As they went into the late 1970s they slid into an easy listening, schmaltz genre of material that they never really got away from.

    WYBIMLA Active Member

    Can't argue with calling it "schmaltz."
    By definition this album is exactly that: "excessive sentimentality."
    Lyrically, Musically, Production-wise... it is excessive.

    I didn't see it as a bad thing or something you could shame as much.
    And now, the more I hear about the meaning of "Strength" the more I don't want to listen. :sad:

    Man, critics were pretty harsh.
    I'd be interested to see other reviews for this album from '81.
    newvillefan likes this.
  10. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    And, after reading that review --Stereo Review--the Album is rated:
    "Very Good" and performance as "Cheery".....
    So, that review--I don't get it--either the recording is rated "very good,"
    and the reviewer proceeds to "tells me Why"......or, as I was expecting...after reading it,
    a more negative rating.
    The reviewer does NOT, in his/her review, substantiate the rating as given: Very Good.

    Actually, what I consider to be "negatives" for this album are not even approached.
    As for Strength Of A Woman.....it is an excellent song. I am in the minority, I don't care.
    I love how Karen performs the song. Whether I agree with the lyric--or, nor--is secondary.
    Mark-T, WYBIMLA and Jeff like this.
  11. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    I’ll be honest - until I’d read reviews on this forum about the lyrical content, I'd only ever taken it at face value for what it is: a soulful ballad with some great backing harmonies. It’s a nice album track but it was never single material, as it was potentially planned to be in 1981.
  12. Mark-T

    Mark-T Well-Known Member

    Had it become a single- the controversy over lyrics maybe would have helped the success of the song- in a very strange way.

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  1. ullalume