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Official Review [Album]: "TIME" (SP 5117/CD 5117/DX 1687)

HOW WOULD YOU RATE THIS ALBUM?

  • ***** (BEST)

    Votes: 8 14.0%
  • ****

    Votes: 13 22.8%
  • ***

    Votes: 21 36.8%
  • **

    Votes: 10 17.5%
  • *

    Votes: 5 8.8%

  • Total voters
    57

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
Now he has decided to go solo. "I had to sit down and think out what I really wanted to do and in what order," he said. "Produce another act? Stick to writing? Play the piano? As much as I like doing all of that, I enjoy making records more than anything. There's something about doing one's own product that just can't be matched.”
The major difference between this and previous Carpenters albums is this one sounds very electronic and full of artificial synths and drums. There’s very little genuine instrumentation or orchestration. It’s a decent album but sounds very dated.
 

Dano

New Member
What is truly a shame is that though the album didn’t perform well on the charts. The majority of the album was full of quality tracks. Yes there were a few experimental moments and eighties musical elements. Richard was trying to branch out and embrace new things. There were always so many critical comments aimed at the later Carpenters albums for not moving with the musical waves. I am so glad they didn’t as they stood the test of time and though hits are important. Musical integrity and their sound is so unique and many of those qualities shine throughout the Time album. I just wished he had followed through with further solo output as he would of found his feet. He may never of lit the charts up in the way he and Karen did. He certainly could of hit a niche with blending solo and collaborations with other artists.

I still love Say Yeah and it really has such a retro feel. 80’s musical flourishes are littered in indie bands and rock acts now. I just love that Karen and Richard never fitted in. That makes them more cool in my book. They always did everything so different and were always attacked for their image (never their music). It was a shame It took the 90’s to fully embrace what they did.

I remember hearing Richard sing I believe it’s called Together At Christmas. I have seen snippets of information he was looking for the right singer for the his potential new Christmas project. Yet to me the singer is there in Richard and he should be leading the album himself. I really love his leads and harmony arrangements. When Voice of the Heart was released I craved for the choir to be replaced with his harmonies as it adds further dimensions to their songs. This was evident in time when the tracks were thriving with amazing background vocals complimenting the leads. How ever people look at the Carpenters. They were 50/50, a duo. Their equal talents made their music, their sound. His contributions vocally in leads or harmonies were part of what as fan I wanted to hear. That ethos I apply to anything Karen or Richard did solo. They were always willing to put their artistry to the test. Did it always work, well no. It was always appreciated that they at least pushed their own boundaries.
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
I remember hearing Richard sing I believe it’s called Together At Christmas. I have seen snippets of information he was looking for the right singer for the his potential new Christmas project. Yet to me the singer is there in Richard and he should be leading the album himself.
I disagree; Richard does not have a commercial enough or strong enough voice to be a lead singer. His lisp and pronounced way of singing certain vowels doesn’t help either. He’s a superb background vocalist though and performed this role perfectly as part of the Carpenters sound.
 
I disagree; Richard does not have a commercial enough or strong enough voice to be a lead singer. His lisp and pronounced way of singing certain vowels doesn’t help either. He’s a superb background vocalist though and performed this role perfectly as part of the Carpenters sound.
I agree. His background vocals can’t be beat. The backgrounds for “Something in Your Eyes” are awesome! He’s had his solo moments that were decent (I Kept On Loving You), but is a much better pianist, composer, arranger, producer and background vocalist. He could have used the clout he had to produce an album of all guest soloists singing his songs. Quincy Jones did it well as Richard could have.
 

Geographer

Well-Known Member
What is truly a shame is that though the album didn’t perform well on the charts. The majority of the album was full of quality tracks. Yes there were a few experimental moments and eighties musical elements. Richard was trying to branch out and embrace new things. There were always so many critical comments aimed at the later Carpenters albums for not moving with the musical waves. I am so glad they didn’t as they stood the test of time and though hits are important. Musical integrity and their sound is so unique and many of those qualities shine throughout the Time album. I just wished he had followed through with further solo output as he would of found his feet. He may never of lit the charts up in the way he and Karen did. He certainly could of hit a niche with blending solo and collaborations with other artists.

I still love Say Yeah and it really has such a retro feel. 80’s musical flourishes are littered in indie bands and rock acts now. I just love that Karen and Richard never fitted in. That makes them more cool in my book. They always did everything so different and were always attacked for their image (never their music). It was a shame It took the 90’s to fully embrace what they did.

I remember hearing Richard sing I believe it’s called Together At Christmas. I have seen snippets of information he was looking for the right singer for the his potential new Christmas project. Yet to me the singer is there in Richard and he should be leading the album himself. I really love his leads and harmony arrangements. When Voice of the Heart was released I craved for the choir to be replaced with his harmonies as it adds further dimensions to their songs. This was evident in time when the tracks were thriving with amazing background vocals complimenting the leads. How ever people look at the Carpenters. They were 50/50, a duo. Their equal talents made their music, their sound. His contributions vocally in leads or harmonies were part of what as fan I wanted to hear. That ethos I apply to anything Karen or Richard did solo. They were always willing to put their artistry to the test. Did it always work, well no. It was always appreciated that they at least pushed their own boundaries.
I couldn't agree more! I actually prefer Richard's solo album over Karen's; although, I have some of the same criticisms for both (singing to high a key, "dated" in parts, etc.); however, Richard's production is stand-out over Karen's. And "Something In Your Eyes" is just a quality piece of work by him with all the bells and whistles I had expected from a Carpenter product. I can't think of any one track on Karen's solo album that gives as much "bang for the buck;" not that there aren't any stand-out tracks on Karen's solo album (there are two or three really nice pieces), but Time is just so well produced compared to Karen Carpenter.

In both cases, though, the sum was always greater than the part. They are good...VERY good individually but together, they were GREAT!
 

ThaFunkyFakeTation

Ah am so steel een luv weeth yoo
We were talking a little about this album in another thread - specifically the cover art. I always liked the album design but thought it needed a tweak. I always felt like the back should be the front. That seems to be the edgier photo to me and in 1987, edge would have been nice for Richard. Here's my quickie mock-up.



Ed
 

A&M Retro

Well-Known Member
We were talking a little about this album in another thread - specifically the cover art. I always liked the album design but thought it needed a tweak. I always felt like the back should be the front. That seems to be the edgier photo to me and in 1987, edge would have been nice for Richard. Here's my quickie mock-up.



Ed

Wow! Excellent work! It’s definitely better this way.
 

ThaFunkyFakeTation

Ah am so steel een luv weeth yoo
Wow! Excellent work! It’s definitely better this way.
I really think so too. I'd do a better job on his lettering if it were for real but I just think this is edgier. I might even remove the timepiece and move the "Time" lettering more to the right to offset his left-justified lettering.

Ed
 

Jarred

Well-Known Member
The only thing bad about a better, cooler album cover than the one put out is that it gives the impression that the music inside is hip and cool, which it is resolutely not, even though it thinks so.
 

Someday

Active Member
I loved "Time" since the first day I got a copy, on LP, on 26th September 1987: I still have the receipt!

So let us imagine this was actually a Carpenters release, with the same artwork, but with Karen sitting beside Richard in that T-bird. She could be wearing blue, to contrast with Richard's red and, this time, not be obscured by a window panel. A modern version of the Now & Then sleeve, but better thought-out :)
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
I might even remove the timepiece and move the "Time" lettering more to the right to offset his left-justified lettering.
I think it would look even better exactly as you say above :)

So let us imagine this was actually a Carpenters release, with the same artwork, but with Karen sitting beside Richard in that T-bird. She could be wearing blue, to contrast with Richard's red and, this time, not be obscured by a window panel. A modern version of the Now & Then sleeve, but better thought-out :)
I LOVE this idea!
 

goodjeans

Well-Known Member
We were talking a little about this album in another thread - specifically the cover art. I always liked the album design but thought it needed a tweak. I always felt like the back should be the front. That seems to be the edgier photo to me and in 1987, edge would have been nice for Richard. Here's my quickie mock-up.



Ed
Your comment is excellent. I had never thought of this. I was redesigning a Radio Station when this was released. One of the Station Managers actually brought me the vinyl album still in plastic stating that they wouldn't even open it.
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
Review by PAUL GREIN, AUG. 30, 1987
CARPENTER’S COMPROMISE
* * “TIME.” Richard Carpenter. A&M.
Karen Carpenter’s death in 1983 left her brother Richard’s recording career in limbo.
He produced and arranged the Carpenters’ long string of hits, and had written several of them. Still, it was Karen’s warm, expressive vocals that made those hits so distinctive. On this, Carpenter’s first album without her, he had to make a choice: find another lead vocalist, recruit guest vocalists, or sing all the songs himself. It would have been impossible for Carpenter to find another lead singer as gifted as Karen, and it would have been unwise for him to handle all of the leads himself, because his bland vocals convey little character. The soundest approach would have been to bring in guest vocalists, as instrumentalists like Quincy Jones, Sergio Mendes and Alan Parsons have done successfully in recent years.
Instead, Carpenter struck a compromise, singing six of the songs himself and bringing in Dionne Warwick and Dusty Springfield to sing one song each. Warwick sings the slow-boil ballad “In Love Alone” (the last song Carpenter and his longtime lyricist, John Bettis, wrote for Karen).
Warwick gives the song a warm, understated reading, by turns brooding and soaring.
The Springfield cut, “Something in Your Eyes,” is a lush, old-fashioned ballad, along the lines of “I Just Fall in Love Again,” which the Carpenters introduced 10 years ago.
Carpenter isn’t the first pop composer without much of a voice. Burt Bacharach and Marvin Hamlisch aren’t going to put Michael McDonald out of business, but they don’t try to. They concentrate on what they do best--and so should Carpenter. The quality of the Warwick cut in particular indicates that he should produce other pop vocalists. The title track, a moody instrumental with wide-screen scope, suggests a talent for film scoring. Carpenter should pursue these and other career directions, rather than insist on being something he isn’t."

Source:
SUMMER ALBUM ROUNDUP : HOT & COOL SUMMER SOUNDS : * * * * <i> Great Balls of Fire</i> * * * <i> Good Vibrations</i> * * <i> Maybe Baby</i> * <i> Running on Empty : </i> : CARPENTER'S COMPROMISE
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
The title track, a moody instrumental with wide-screen scope, suggests a talent for film scoring. Carpenter should pursue these and other career directions, rather than insist on being something he isn’t.
This is the best summation I’ve ever read of what Richard’s post-Carpenters career should have been. As usual Paul Grein nails it. Richard missed out on a very long, lucrative career in film scoring that could have put him in the same league as John Williams today. Even Karen said it to his face on TV in 1981. Now of course, it’s too late. An absolute waste of his best talents.
 

Carpe diem

Well-Known Member
This is the best summation I’ve ever read of what Richard’s post-Carpenters career should have been. As usual Paul Grein nails it. Richard missed out on a very long, lucrative career in film scoring that could have put him in the same league as John Williams today. Even Karen said it to his face on TV in 1981. Now of course, it’s too late. An absolute waste of his best talents.
I think Richard's heart was just not in it after Karen passed. He was devastated.
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
In the A & M press release Richard states, regarding this album: "I couldn't be prouder of it."
There is no devastation in his words, his heart was in this solo album.
It is interesting to see that Calling Your Name Again has amassed well over ten MILLION youtube views.
I'm Still Not Over You....is a fine pop song (imho).
There are positive things about the album !
Personally, my favorite is Say Yeah !
Not saying I love the album, but it has its moments.
 

John Adam

Well-Known Member
Maybe this kind of album with a couple exceptions is not what Richard excels in, but like Karen's solo project it is another side of him. The "Time" album's 80's sound and vibe is not totally unlike what Karen and Phil were going for with her solo album, another side of Karen.

Both are time capsules. I find both of them interesting and listenable out of the usual Carpenters context.
 

Carpe diem

Well-Known Member
In the A & M press release Richard states, regarding this album: "I couldn't be prouder of it."
There is no devastation in his words, his heart was in this solo album.
It is interesting to see that Calling Your Name Again has amassed well over ten MILLION youtube views.
I'm Still Not Over You....is a fine pop song (imho).
There are positive things about the album !
Personally, my favorite is Say Yeah !
Not saying I love the album, but it has its moments.
Thank you for setting the record straight once again Gary. At least I can say I admire you for referencing your sources on a regular basis...The Time album is a colossal "el floppo". Richard had definitely lost his mojo by this point. Sorry to say, ain't nobody a fan of this work. It is forgettable in every way. I haven't even listened to it and I already know what it is all about. Richard should've done movie scores for sure, but you know what? HIS HEART WAS NOT IN IT!!! And as we all know, perhaps Gary 95% of the content in this forum is personal opinion. Have a nice weekend!:)
 
Review by PAUL GREIN, AUG. 30, 1987
CARPENTER’S COMPROMISE
* * “TIME.” Richard Carpenter. A&M.
Karen Carpenter’s death in 1983 left her brother Richard’s recording career in limbo.
He produced and arranged the Carpenters’ long string of hits, and had written several of them. Still, it was Karen’s warm, expressive vocals that made those hits so distinctive. On this, Carpenter’s first album without her, he had to make a choice: find another lead vocalist, recruit guest vocalists, or sing all the songs himself. It would have been impossible for Carpenter to find another lead singer as gifted as Karen, and it would have been unwise for him to handle all of the leads himself, because his bland vocals convey little character. The soundest approach would have been to bring in guest vocalists, as instrumentalists like Quincy Jones, Sergio Mendes and Alan Parsons have done successfully in recent years.
Instead, Carpenter struck a compromise, singing six of the songs himself and bringing in Dionne Warwick and Dusty Springfield to sing one song each. Warwick sings the slow-boil ballad “In Love Alone” (the last song Carpenter and his longtime lyricist, John Bettis, wrote for Karen).
Warwick gives the song a warm, understated reading, by turns brooding and soaring.
The Springfield cut, “Something in Your Eyes,” is a lush, old-fashioned ballad, along the lines of “I Just Fall in Love Again,” which the Carpenters introduced 10 years ago.
Carpenter isn’t the first pop composer without much of a voice. Burt Bacharach and Marvin Hamlisch aren’t going to put Michael McDonald out of business, but they don’t try to. They concentrate on what they do best--and so should Carpenter. The quality of the Warwick cut in particular indicates that he should produce other pop vocalists. The title track, a moody instrumental with wide-screen scope, suggests a talent for film scoring. Carpenter should pursue these and other career directions, rather than insist on being something he isn’t."

Source:
SUMMER ALBUM ROUNDUP : HOT & COOL SUMMER SOUNDS : * * * * <i> Great Balls of Fire</i> * * * <i> Good Vibrations</i> * * <i> Maybe Baby</i> * <i> Running on Empty : </i> : CARPENTER'S COMPROMISE
What's always puzzled me about Paul Grein's review of "Time" is how he doesn't say anything about "When Time Was All We Had," Richard's mostly a capella tribute to Karen. Maybe he didn't care for Richard's performance on that track either, but to ignore the song completely while reviewing the album makes no sense at all. I personally really liked it along with most of the rest of "Time."
 
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