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Official Review [Album]: "VOICE OF THE HEART" (SP-4954)

HOW WOULD YOU RATE THIS ALBUM?

  • ***** (BEST)

    Votes: 17 20.5%
  • ****

    Votes: 27 32.5%
  • ***

    Votes: 31 37.3%
  • **

    Votes: 7 8.4%
  • *

    Votes: 1 1.2%

  • Total voters
    83

Rumbahbah

Well-Known Member
[QUOTE="Also, I love (and still need to do the edit of) that someone on here once mentioned that the end of Maybe it's You, would segue beautifully into Ordinaey Fool; one ends with "Only a fool..." and the other starts with it. And thematically it's a gorgeous companion piece.
That was me. I got no response when I posted it. Glad someone was paying attention! I keep wanting to play with this in a song list sometime and see how it sounds with Only a Fool right after Maybe It's You.[/QUOTE]

Ironically on one of the CD singles for the re-release of 'Rainy Days and Mondays' in the UK in 1993, they used 'Maybe It's You' and 'Ordinary Fool' as the extra tracks on the single and they do run together well. Although I'd say 'Ordinary Fool' is such a great song that it would run on well from almost anything!
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
Sailing on the Tide, one of two Tony Peluso (and John Bettis) songs,
is another favorite off of this album.
It is another song rarely anthologized on compilations.
Happy and Sailing on the Tide are both exceptional pop pieces (imho).
Ed Greene drums Sailing, Jim Gordon on Happy.
Anyway, I can tell the difference in drumming style.
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
Sailing on the Tide, one of two Tony Peluso (and John Bettis) songs,
is another favorite off of this album.
It is another song rarely anthologized on compilations.
Happy and Sailing on the Tide are both exceptional pop pieces (imho).
Ed Greene drums Sailing, Jim Gordon on Happy.
Anyway, I can tell the difference in drumming style.
I've always thought of Sailing On The Tide as a very odd choice of song for the album. It just doesn't fit with the style of the rest of the album overall. Most of the other tracks are quite bleak. I understand why it's on there, to break up the gloomy feel of most of the other tracks, but I still don't think it fits all that well. It would have been better on side 2 of the album it was intended for, after Sweet, Sweet Smile.
 
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Jarred

Well-Known Member
[QUOTE="Also, I love (and still need to do the edit of) that someone on here once mentioned that the end of Maybe it's You, would segue beautifully into Ordinaey Fool; one ends with "Only a fool..." and the other starts with it. And thematically it's a gorgeous companion piece.
That was me. I got no response when I posted it. Glad someone was paying attention! I keep wanting to play with this in a song list sometime and see how it sounds with Only a Fool right after Maybe It's You.[/QUOTE]

You mean Ordinary Fool! Haha But yes, your words have stuck with me for a while now since I read that on a thread I must find again. It would sound beautiful for a video montage too.
 

John Adam

Well-Known Member
That was me. I got no response when I posted it. Glad someone was paying attention! I keep wanting to play with this in a song list sometime and see how it sounds with Only a Fool right after Maybe It's You.
You mean Ordinary Fool! Haha But yes, your words have stuck with me for a while now since I read that on a thread I must find again. It would sound beautiful for a video montage too.[/QUOTE]

It "works" Jared. I think that will become two of the songs for my fantasy RPO album Vol. II. Which I am working on my choices. But I decided not to include any unfinished/unreleased songs for that playlist I am making. I think that may be a chapter that has been closed......for now.
 

Geographer

Well-Known Member
You mean Ordinary Fool! Haha But yes, your words have stuck with me for a while now since I read that on a thread I must find again. It would sound beautiful for a video montage too.
It "works" Jared. I think that will become two of the songs for my fantasy RPO album Vol. II. Which I am working on my choices. But I decided not to include any unfinished/unreleased songs for that playlist I am making. I think that may be a chapter that has been closed......for now.[/QUOTE]

Yes! I meant Ordinary Fool! Must have had the opening line in my head!
 

Jarred

Well-Known Member
I heard the album just the other day again after not hearing for a while and I have to say that a good deal songs are either weak musically or Karen's work leads just lack the oomph (understandably) that she would have given to a final one.

The whole album is worth existing if only for Ordinary Fool, a work lead that she certainly didn't phone in. The other highlights are Look To Your Dreams (cuts to my core, given an extra heart wrenching dimension given Karen's life), At the End of a Song (that lower register and again the lyrical subject matter are deeply personal for her and as a metaphor for many beyond music), and Make Believe (I prefer this version a lot more than the solo one - richer, deeper vocal, warmer, much more engaging arrangement that gives it a more complete sound). Your Baby DLYA is good until Karen gets too high and thin on the choruses which takes away from the overall effect.
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
I must dissent on the majority (?) opinion:
Voice of the Heart is NOT weak musically.
If it is being downplayed due to its lack of "hit single" material, then one could make that opinion.
Yet, as I have emphasized time and again, an album-- as a whole-- is not merely a collection of "hit singles."
And, if we compare it to the album Lovelines, that is not fair either, as Lovelines album had
four Karen Carpenter solo songs and two songs completed for television specials
(leaving six songs, of which two were already completed....so, only four songs needed serious work...).
With Voice of the Heart, many (70% or more ?) of the songs are work leads.
(1) The relative speed with which Richard completed the songs, under great duress, speaks volumes !
(2) We get three excellent Richard Carpenter/John Bettis compositions: YE, ATEOAS, LTYD
(So, they are not Only Yesterday or Yesterday Once More or Top of the World , that does not make
those other songs bad songs !).
(3) Two Lives... is very much hit-single worthy.
(4) Sailing On The Tide... is every bit as good as Happy.
(5) Ordinary Fool... ranks up there with Solitaire....
(6) That Your Baby Doesn't Love You Anymore...
is a mix of highs and lows, only reinforces and enhances its value as a work-lead.
In other words, Karen was remarkably versatile.
(7) Finally, artwork and photography were tasteful and done well.
 

AnnaSock

Active Member
One of the reasons why I like this forum so much...When a thread starts "heating-up" like this one has, I tend to give a second listen or more to what's being discussed. I'm listening to VOTH as I'm typing...
I’ve been listening to VOTH this week, too.
 

Jarred

Well-Known Member
I've been listening to it as well, as I've mentioned before. I only really love a few tracks but some are certainly still listenable and more interesting to hear analytically then I do actually purely enjoying them.
 

A&M Retro

Well-Known Member
I dug up the cassette this week and happened to pop it in the car last night.
My two favorites are ‘Two Lives’ and ‘Your Baby Doesn’t Love You Anymore’. Both are dynamic and really showcase a different side of the Carpenters.

‘Two Lives’ is undoubtedly the rockiest song in their catalog. Karen’s vocals are exceptional and she finds a different way to enunciate each time she sings the chorus. Plus, the drumming is fantastic and they’re placed high up in the mix.

10/10 for me on those two songs alone.
 

AnnaSock

Active Member
‘Two Lives’ is undoubtedly the rockiest song in their catalog. Karen’s vocals are exceptional and she finds a different way to enunciate each time she sings the chorus. Plus, the drumming is fantastic and they’re placed high up in the mix.
Excellently put! I love ‘Two Lives’. I think it’s my favourite on VOTH, and possibly one of my top Carpenters songs period.
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
Two Lives....one of my favorites, I wholeheartedly agree with
Richard Carpenter:
"...it's a work-lead by Karen, and, again, flawless--to me one of her best readings."
(Liner Notes, Anthology).

One of her best readings.
 

Jarred

Well-Known Member
I don’t hear rocky at all. All I hear is a plodding mid tempo track which is quite repetitive. Karen’s vocal is quite lispy and sounds laboured on some lines. Not one of my favourites.
Yeah it sounds like a demo to me with a very work lead-sounding vocal. There's no real life to it and doesn't really go anywhere arrangement-wise. Some work leads of her's def sound better than others (Leave Yesterday Behind is a vocal that she would have given more oomph and passion to if she did a final performance, but as it is she sounds more smooth, sensual, wistful (her innate vocal qualities no matter how emotionally phoned in), and overall more involved than on TL.

But her vocal on Two Lives is worth hearing if only just for her haunting reading of "I can't believe it's over...it's over....".
 

Rick-An Ordinary Fool

Honolulu City Lights
I do like her phrasing of "someone said that time would ease the pain.." The way she wraps her voice around the word "ease" sticks out to me.
She’s good at that...that bridge is perfect for Karen...she does it again on “love you more than ever and ever” in fact she does this quite often which makes me feel more connected to the songs.
 

Rumbahbah

Well-Known Member
Randy Crawford (on whose albums I've been having a bit of a binge recently) also recorded 'Two Lives' in 1981 for her Secret Combination album:


Karen's reading is definitely the best of the bunch though. As everyone has said, her delivery on that line 'and I love you more than ever... and ever' is just gorgeous.

I quite like 'Two Lives'. It's definitely one of the stronger tracks recorded during 1980-81. The one thing that lets it down is the use of the oboe at the start and the end, which sets it up to be another MOR track when in fact it's a lot more interesting than that. If they'd have gone for an acoustic guitar intro like the one used on 'The Uninvited Guest' instead, it would have been more effective.
 

ullalume

Well-Known Member
Sailing on the Tide, one of two Tony Peluso (and John Bettis) songs,
is another favorite off of this album.
It is another song rarely anthologized on compilations.
Happy and Sailing on the Tide are both exceptional pop pieces (imho).
Ed Greene drums Sailing, Jim Gordon on Happy.
Anyway, I can tell the difference in drumming style.
I'm pretty sure the lovely Karen herself did the drumming on Happy. . .the last album track she'd drum on until her work on When It's Gone in 1980.
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
^^Correct !
A slip on my part !
Reading Treasures Liner Notes reaffirms same:
Karen, indeed, drums Happy !
Fantastic drum performance by Karen !
 
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