1. The new Carpenters recording with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra is now available for preorder! Use this link to preorder, and help us out at the same time. Thank you!

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

Discussion in 'A Song For You: The Carpenters Forum' started by Chris May, Sep 30, 2013.

HOW WOULD YOU RATE THIS ALBUM?

  1. ***** (BEST)

    17 vote(s)
    21.0%
  2. ****

    26 vote(s)
    32.1%
  3. ***

    30 vote(s)
    37.0%
  4. **

    7 vote(s)
    8.6%
  5. *

    1 vote(s)
    1.2%
  1. Rumbahbah

    Rumbahbah 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.[/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!
     
    Geographer likes this.
  2. GaryAlan

    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.
     
  3. newvillefan

    newvillefan I Know My First Name Is Stephen

    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.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019
  4. Jarred

    Jarred Active 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.[/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 likes this.
  5. John Adam

    John Adam 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.[/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 likes this.
  6. 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!
     
    John Adam likes this.
  7. Jarred

    Jarred Active 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.
     
    Kacfan likes this.
  8. GaryAlan

    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.
     
  9. Carpe diem

    Carpe diem Well-Known 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...
     
  10. AnnaSock

    AnnaSock Active Member

    UK
    I’ve been listening to VOTH this week, too.
     
  11. Jarred

    Jarred Active 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.
     
  12. A&M Retro

    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.
     
    GaryAlan likes this.
  13. AnnaSock

    AnnaSock Active Member

    UK
    Excellently put! I love ‘Two Lives’. I think it’s my favourite on VOTH, and possibly one of my top Carpenters songs period.
     
  14. newvillefan

    newvillefan I Know My First Name Is Stephen

    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.
     
    Jarred, Murray and ThaFunkyFakeTation like this.
  15. GaryAlan

    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.
     
    Jamesj75, AnnaSock and Rachel like this.
  16. Jarred

    Jarred Active Member

    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....".
     
    Jamesj75, Rachel and newvillefan like this.
  17. newvillefan

    newvillefan I Know My First Name Is Stephen

    Whilst I’m not a fan of the song, I have to admit Karen’s vocal on that whole bridge is just exquisite.
     
    Rick-An Ordinary Fool likes this.
  18. Jarred

    Jarred Active Member

    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.
     
  19. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Honolulu City Lights

    FL
    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.
     
    Jarred likes this.
  20. Jarred

    Jarred Active Member

    Two Lives was recorded in 1980, right?
     
  21. newvillefan

    newvillefan I Know My First Name Is Stephen

    Yes, as a work lead.
     
  22. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Here is Bonnie Raitt, her studio-completed version of Two Lives.
    Weigh it against Karen Carpenter's ONE-Take Work-Lead,
    and convince me that Karen Carpenter is not utterly superb !
    www.youtube.com/watch?v=zARH2986ItY
     
  23. Rumbahbah

    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.
     
    GaryAlan likes this.
  24. ullalume

    ullalume Well-Known Member

    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 likes this.
  25. GaryAlan

    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 !
     
    ullalume likes this.

Share This Page

Users Viewing Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 1)