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

HOW WOULD YOU RATE THIS ALBUM?

  • ***** (BEST)

    Votes: 7 12.7%
  • ****

    Votes: 13 23.6%
  • ***

    Votes: 21 38.2%
  • **

    Votes: 9 16.4%
  • *

    Votes: 5 9.1%

  • Total voters
    55

ThaFunkyFakeTation

Ah am so steel een luv weeth yoo
Since Richard likes to tinker with his productions, maybe it's "Time" to revisit this piece of work and make it more relevant, instead of a relic.
Add an outtake or two if there are any, and make it available again?
Not that doing this would be my preference but would he even be able to? I know he backed up Carpenters' multis and mixdown masters but did he back up his own solo work at all? I'd imagine he did but do we know if he did?

Ed
 

ThaFunkyFakeTation

Ah am so steel een luv weeth yoo
They are still more upbeat and has more good songs than 95% of MIA. MIA was "Missing In Action". The majority of MIA should've stayed in the vaults, whereas "Time" it belongs out there. I think "Say Yeah!' should've been released as a single in America, along with Who Do You Love?. The other songs on "Time" may be ballads, but they are uptempo ballads, whereas MIA's ballads were slow, boring and downbeat. How did I Believe You and Those Good Old Dreams even get picked as singles when there were better songs that could've been released. And on "Time" the songs sound more 80's. Calling Your Name Again really sounds like an Air Supply's Two Less Lonely People In The World.

And with "Time", I keep thinking that, had Karen still been alive in 1987, she might've parroted back Richard's comments from 1979, but instead of doing disco, it probably would've been more in line of doing electronic.
We absolutely agree that "MIA" is pretty terrible. Still, for as bad as it is, "Time" is actually worse, IMHO. The songwriting isn't there just like MIA - uptempo/downtempo/whatever. What's worse is that the singing isn't either. Dusty is hardly terrible but she is here. Every vocal line is edited in and it sounds like it. The emotion feels disjointed and I don't believe her. The best part of that song is Richard's harmonies. Dionne is singing too high and you can hear her straining slightly in the choruses. Scott is just forced (woo!).

Worse still is the presence of Pamela Phillips-Oland. She was a bad choice and nowhere near the caliber of lyricist that Bettis is. She was far too flowery and Hallmark-ian for my tastes. In short, her stuff felt like hack work. "You know it's right when it comes as easy as apple pie". Does it? Bettis has written man lyrics since working with Carpenters and his lyrics have always seemed to come from a real place.

Ed
 
I'd love to hear any outtakes that might exist from "Time," plus I'm still hoping we'll eventually hear the leads Richard recorded in the early '80s, "Fool Me," "Some Guys Have All the Luck." It's not just that I like Richard's vocals, It's that I love his arrangements!
 

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
We absolutely agree that "MIA" is pretty terrible. Still, for as bad as it is, "Time" is actually worse, IMHO. The songwriting isn't there just like MIA - uptempo/downtempo/whatever. What's worse is that the singing isn't either. Dusty is hardly terrible but she is here. Every vocal line is edited in and it sounds like it. The emotion feels disjointed and I don't believe her. The best part of that song is Richard's harmonies. Dionne is singing too high and you can hear her straining slightly in the choruses. Scott is just forced (woo!).

Worse still is the presence of Pamela Phillips-Oland. She was a bad choice and nowhere near the caliber of lyricist that Bettis is. She was far too flowery and Hallmark-ian for my tastes. In short, her stuff felt like hack work. "You know it's right when it comes as easy as apple pie". Does it? Bettis has written man lyrics since working with Carpenters and his lyrics have always seemed to come from a real place.

Ed
Actually the Scott Grimes track is easily one of the best on the album. I was a little kid when the album came out and that track reminds me of songs that appeared on 80’s cartoons quite s bit. And Oland’s lyrics remind me of being a little boy and how you always wanted the popular girl in class to pick you to work with or spend time with and hopefully the relationship would grow to where you got married and people would say that they are “childhood sweethearts”.
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Moderator
As much as I like the TIME album, the Scott Grimes track is not one I play very often. Definitely a skip track for me.

I wanted to like it. The whole idea of this new kid being a guest on the album was good. I just don't like his voice. It would have been better if Richard had sung it. (Wonder if there's a demo with Richard's lead?)
 

Jarred

Well-Known Member
Since Richard likes to tinker with his productions, maybe it's "Time" to revisit this piece of work and make it more relevant, instead of a relic.
Add an outtake or two if there are any, and make it available again?
But honestly, how would it sell? It’s conceptually interesting to hear as a time capsule, but the root of it just isn’t strong enough that it would warrant any remixes. Time was only of its time and he knew it.
 

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
But honestly, how would it sell? It’s conceptually interesting to hear as a time capsule, but the root of it just isn’t strong enough that it would warrant any remixes. Time was only of its time and he knew it.
The root of it is strong enough. The problem in the 80’s was that Richard just didn’t promote it. Being newly married and a new father, he wanted family time in the 80’s, he didn’t want to be on the road, and the lead single was a track that should’ve been an album cut.

I still see a track like “Say Yeah!” having been a lead single a doing very well when compared to singles of the era like Phil Collins “Two Hearts” (now there’s a track that I would love to hear Richard cover!)
 

GDB2LV

Well-Known Member
I have to agree with Harry. I always skip the Scott Grimes cuts. Annoying kid. He wasn’t good at covering Karen’s vocals at the Garden Grove Christmas Concert either. Unimpressive kid on stage and at the dinner Richard hosted after the show. He tagged along with Richard and made typical juvenile remarks while Richard visited each table and guest that evening. Made fun of the Offering cover while Richard autographed it. So I just plain don’t like him, period. Say Yeah was such an 80’s tune. Should have been the single. My favorite cut is I’m Still Not Over You. I like most of the album anyway. Proud to own it.
 

Jarred

Well-Known Member
The root of it is strong enough. The problem in the 80’s was that Richard just didn’t promote it. Being newly married and a new father, he wanted family time in the 80’s, he didn’t want to be on the road, and the lead single was a track that should’ve been an album cut.

I still see a track like “Say Yeah!” having been a lead single a doing very well when compared to singles of the era like Phil Collins “Two Hearts” (now there’s a track that I would love to hear Richard cover!)
I guess we just fundamentally disagree on its merit. I just don’t see anything Richard doing solo being a popular hit (single). The album was very subpar (for me) and for most he was still just “the piano player with the Carpenters”.
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
It would been interesting to have seen “Who Do You Love?” Issued as a North American single.
That and Say Yeah are the two tracks that I think would have caught some radio play in 1987. Both tracks are commercial and catchy and his lead vocal performances are decent enough. On the ballads, his vocal is weak, whispery and too processed/doubled, which only emphasises the lisp.
 

Geographer

Well-Known Member
Wow, I have to say that this is pretty sad. To have totally dismissed an album without listening to it just doesn't make any sense. I could understand it maybe a decade or so ago when the thing was out of print and hard to find, but these days you could listen to it free on places like YouTube.

But - we all have our likes, dislikes, and prejudices. I wouldn't ever be tempted to go listen to, say, a Rod Stewart track or album, as I can't stand the guy. But I don't know how a Carpenters fan can feel that way about Richard.

And don't say "ain't nobody a fan of this work" because I am. I was very happy with Richard's TIME and count it as a favored album.
Wow, I must be really out on the end of the bell curve. I like very much both MIA AND Time! My only criticism with TIME is that I don't much care for Pamela Philips-Oland's lyrics. They seemed a bit esoteric to me. It's also a bit dated with all the synths, but not nearly as dated as Karen's solo LP. Something In Your Eyes and Calling Your Name Again, to me, are the stand outs for sure.
 

ThaFunkyFakeTation

Ah am so steel een luv weeth yoo
Wow, I must be really out on the end of the bell curve. I like very much both MIA AND Time! My only criticism with TIME is that I don't much care for Pamela Philips-Oland's lyrics. They seemed a bit esoteric to me. It's also a bit dated with all the synths, but not nearly as dated as Karen's solo LP. Something In Your Eyes and Calling Your Name Again, to me, are the stand outs for sure.
I think Richard's record is far more dated than Karen's. He relied in Yamaha DX-7 synthesizers, synth toms, and sequencers throughout that date the record to the second it came out. It's a synth'd-up version of Made in America but without Karen's voice to make any of it work. I don't get the love for "Say Yeah!" at all; it's absolutely dreadful and one of the worst songs I've ever heard by anyone. It doesn't matter who sings it; it's just empty-headed. "Up and down/ring around the roses/you move in close/I come undone". YIKES! It sounds like a old lady trying to write come hither lyrics. It's like Pamela has never known the feeling. The record is full of bad songs but this is the very worst.

Ed
 

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
It is in no way a “synthed up” MIA. It’s the way the Carpenters should’ve gone on MIA with “Back In My Life Again” really the only progressive track on MIA. But Richard was also using the DX-7 on various remixes at the time. I actually prefer the 1992 MCD mix and the “Treasures” (Japan) mixes because the electronic stereo instruments give new life to the songs.

“Say Yeah!” Is like “If I Had You” or MLITA From Karen’s solo album. It’s a high energy track that would’ve been more competitive than “Something In Your Eyes” on the singles market. It was like the Beach Boys/Fat Boys 1987 “Wipeout” was such a departure for the Beach Boys, but it brought them back to the Top 15 on Billboard. “Say Yeah!” And “Who Do You Love” we’re both different, and “Say Yeah” was like “If I Had You” in that it was about sex and hormones on overdrive. It was about seeing the one that you know you want to marry and be with the rest of your life for the first time and your sex drive goes into overdrive.
 

ThaFunkyFakeTation

Ah am so steel een luv weeth yoo
It is in no way a “synthed up” MIA. It’s the way the Carpenters should’ve gone on MIA with “Back In My Life Again” really the only progressive track on MIA. But Richard was also using the DX-7 on various remixes at the time. I actually prefer the 1992 MCD mix and the “Treasures” (Japan) mixes because the electronic stereo instruments give new life to the songs.

“Say Yeah!” Is like “If I Had You” or MLITA From Karen’s solo album. It’s a high energy track that would’ve been more competitive than “Something In Your Eyes” on the singles market. It was like the Beach Boys/Fat Boys 1987 “Wipeout” was such a departure for the Beach Boys, but it brought them back to the Top 15 on Billboard. “Say Yeah!” And “Who Do You Love” we’re both different, and “Say Yeah” was like “If I Had You” in that it was about sex and hormones on overdrive. It was about seeing the one that you know you want to marry and be with the rest of your life for the first time and your sex drive goes into overdrive.
Different strokes. Waaaaay different strokes.

Ed
 

Proudofyou

Active Member
I don't want to put anyone down, but what was the justification for Scott Grimes? Was he trying to make the kid into the next Justin Bieber of his day? I love most of the ballads and LOVE the track TIME, but I just can't when it comes to Scott. Sorry.
 

John Adam

Well-Known Member
I don't want to put anyone down, but what was the justification for Scott Grimes? Was he trying to make the kid into the next Justin Bieber of his day? I love most of the ballads and LOVE the track TIME, but I just can't when it comes to Scott. Sorry.
He just sounds really pubescent. Maybe he could replace Scott's vocals with someone who is a little easier on the ear.
But I have to say the productions are pure Richard Carpenter, and sound great! The album begs for a revision, even if it's just for fun only.
Maybe just a free download for fans?
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
What was anyone expecting regarding the Richard Carpenter Lead vocals on his Time album ?
If you listen closely to the song I Kept On Loving You, way back in 1970,
his lead vocal is quite poor. The background harmonies are great. The song is passable (imho),
but I rarely listen to it. How could it be otherwise with his Time album ?
I think we are expecting some earth-shattering change in Richard's lead vocals, but that is not going to happen.
So, I am a little more lenient in giving Time a passable grade.
Is it my cup-of-tea ? Not, really. But, he did the best he could do at that point in time.
So, for what it is, it is okay. I do enjoy Say Yeah and Who Do You Love.
He did the best lead vocals he could muster for those songs, and they are catchy.
I do not for a moment think they are "timeless" but,
who cares ? Just because the album is "dated" does not make it "worthless."
 

Jarred

Well-Known Member
Different strokes. Waaaaay different strokes.

Ed
Seriously! I respect everyone’s opinion, and I swear that my own has nothing to do with the competing solo album debates, but I just don’t see where the actual appeal lies for Time. Many times I can disagree but still understand why others would like it, but that isn’t the case here.

And I agree with others that “dated” doesn’t equal worthless, but it still doesn’t make it fresh. The majority of Carpenters outputs still fresh today. Time isn't.
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
I agree, the best of the Carpenters' output remains fresh today, if not forever.
But, the worst of the duo's output is not fresh today, nor was it ever (druscilla penny, for instance).
To "throw the baby out with the bathwater" is not my style, so I prefer to find the redeeming qualities in
Time. Richard Carpenter felt the desire to do the album, so he gave it a shot. He's happy with it, that's all I ask.
Whether, or not, Time stands the test of time, is as irrelevant as panning Karen's solo album for being
merely a "period piece," (Phil Ramone's words) with disco elements infused. I love almost all of Karen's solo songs,
but I do not compare it--or, Richard's solo album--to any "Carpenters" album. Simply not fair.
 

ThaFunkyFakeTation

Ah am so steel een luv weeth yoo
What was anyone expecting regarding the Richard Carpenter Lead vocals on his Time album ?
If you listen closely to the song I Kept On Loving You, way back in 1970,
his lead vocal is quite poor. The background harmonies are great. The song is passable (imho), but I rarely listen to it. How could it be otherwise with his Time album ?
I don't agree with that at all. I like the tune. I also think his lead on "I Kept on Loving You" is perfectly fine, even good. It's not great but it's not an embarrassment either. I think it's his best lead and I believe him when he says that "the road was long and wide / I had to try it". The differing opinions in this thread are quite interesting, no?

I think we are expecting some earth-shattering change in Richard's lead vocals, but that is not going to happen.
I think something did happen...and there lies the problem. Richard's voice became significantly thinner and his tone less attractive to my ears. Maybe it was the smoking? He also became "squarer" so he couldn't get away with, for instance, "Who Do You Love"'s more adventurous lyric.

So, I am a little more lenient in giving Time a passable grade.
Is it my cup-of-tea ? Not, really. But, he did the best he could do at that point in time.
So, for what it is, it is okay. I do enjoy Say Yeah and Who Do You Love.
He did the best lead vocals he could muster for those songs, and they are catchy.
I do not for a moment think they are "timeless" but,
who cares ? Just because the album is "dated" does not make it "worthless."
I agree that "dated" doesn't have to be bad but in his case, I think it really is. He wielded the drum machinery/pads and keyboards in the most claustrophobic and overproduced way possible. He fell into the trap where the tech and overall sheen overwhelm the slight songs. He also did this on "Made in America" quite often. It actually helps in this case as there really isn't a completely good song here so the production makes them all sound more substantial than they are. "When Time Was All We Had" is absolutely gorgeous to begin with but then it moves to the elevator when Herb comes in. I get why Richard added Herb but I just feel it was too much. I enjoyed the acapella part of it (in spite of the insipid lyric) so much that Herb disturbs the mood of it for me.

His production style definitely did his voice no favors. Karen could wade through that style of production and find her space but Richard could not. I find it really odd that he accused Karen of singing too high on her solo record...yet he does exactly that here. His vocal on "Who Do You Love" is positively painful to listen to and none of it sounds comfortable for him. It's just high and fey all the way through.

Ed
 

John Adam

Well-Known Member
I don't know that the Carpenters music sounds fresh. Most music becomes dated at some point. But a lot of music becomes "timeless."
I do think much of the Carpenters output and Karen's singing falls into that category.

But no, I don't feel that "Time" is timeless, but it could use a little loving! :)
 
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