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

HOW WOULD YOU RATE THIS ALBUM?

  • ***** (BEST)

    Votes: 19 19.0%
  • ****

    Votes: 35 35.0%
  • ***

    Votes: 37 37.0%
  • **

    Votes: 7 7.0%
  • *

    Votes: 2 2.0%

  • Total voters
    100

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
How about a shout out for the song Two Lives...I really like this song.
Prime Time Love has been discussed lately, a good one,but then I like most of this album.
The album has NOT a lot of doubling (of Karen's vocals that is) and tasteful arrangements.
Look To Your Dreams and At The End of A Song are terrific in my opinion.
I won't continue because my love for the album is well-known in these circles.
 

David A

Well-Known Member
^^ "The money's in the basement."

Karen essentially _always_ sounds good - but she spends most of this song (Two Lives) in a higher register that for me just doesn't have the resonance and especially the emotional impact her lower register conveys. It's not one of my favorites.
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
How about a shout out for the song Two Lives...I really like this song.

It’s so strange you mention this. I was listening to Voice Of The Heart tonight and, for the very first time in the 20 years since I first heard this song, something about it struck me. The piano, the beautiful acoustic guitars reminiscent of those on When It’s Gone, the “maybe just a fool / lately I can hardly see the sun” lyric with Karen’s slightly laboured vocal...it’s like I heard it properly for the first time. I was never a fan of the OK Chorale on this or any of their songs, but for once I was able to look past it. I’d like to hear the song without that, just once.
 

A&M Retro

Well-Known Member
Oh, man, ‘Two Lives’ has always been one of my all-time favorite Carpenters tracks. Karen sings the hell out of it and it’s definitely one of the most rock-oriented songs in their discography. If you listen closely, Karen sings each chorus differently from the one that preceded it. She brings all the emotion out of those lyrics like no other singer can.

And she did it all in one take! Truly mind-boggling. She never lost that magic touch.
 

Rick-An Ordinary Fool

Well-Known Member
Music Week UK
Oct 22, 1983
G8hYo5d.jpg
 

Jarred

Your resident analyst right around the corner.
Music Week UK
Oct 22, 1983
G8hYo5d.jpg
His comments on the solo album are unsurprising given what we now know, but it’s interesting that he explicitly mentions the melancholic tone that made her voice feel distinctive from so many. He doesn’t illuminate more on it, but it just struck me that he verbalized it rather than just say she had an “emotive” voice or something.
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
Music Week UK
Oct 22, 1983
G8hYo5d.jpg

Once again we see the comment that the album was “never completed”. This really annoys me because it whitewashes an episode of Karen’s life that she enjoyed, was proud of and which resulted in the delivery of a finished product to the label that she was happy with. He and those around him said this many times over the years before its release, I’m assuming in a vain attempt to put people off the scent, because people had already started asking questions about its release, even as early as 1983. I can only imagine his and the label’s definition of “not completed” is that A&M initially asked her to go back and record more material, hence in their eyes “still not finished”.
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
Note that the article above, from Music Week Oct 1983, states "edited by Chris White."
Who knows what has been edited out !


I listened to the album yesterday.
I still love many of the selections.
 

Rumbahbah

Well-Known Member
Once again we see the comment that the album was “never completed”. This really annoys me because it whitewashes an episode of Karen’s life that she enjoyed, was proud of and which resulted in the delivery of a finished product to the label that she was happy with. He and those around him said this many times over the years before its release, I’m assuming in a vain attempt to put people off the scent, because people had already started asking questions about its release, even as early as 1983. I can only imagine his and the label’s definition of “not completed” is that A&M initially asked her to go back and record more material, hence in their eyes “still not finished”.

The spin sure started early re the solo album...

I'm quite surprised that a UK publication like Music Week mentioned the solo album as early as 1983 though. As far as I'm aware, unless you were a member of the fan club, those in the UK would have had essentially no idea that Karen had even recorded one.
 

Rick-An Ordinary Fool

Well-Known Member
The spin sure started early re the solo album...

I'm quite surprised that a UK publication like Music Week mentioned the solo album as early as 1983 though. As far as I'm aware, unless you were a member of the fan club, those in the UK would have had essentially no idea that Karen had even recorded one.
Not necessarily...Music Week ran an article Nov 10, 1979 that Karen's solo album was set to be released in spring of 1980. So they did let their UK readers know about it.
 

Another Son

Well-Known Member
A few coincidences - in the 1940s, Mel Torme wrote the music and some of the lyrics of the Christmas classic, 'The Christmas Song, (Chestnuts Roasting On an Open Fire)', which is the most performed Christmas song, according to BMI. Robert Wells was Mel's co-writer.

In 1977, Karen and Richard recorded the song and released it as a single. That same year, Mel Torme recorded 'Ordinary Fool', a song that Karen and Richard had recently recorded.

If you don't know the singing of Mel Torme, he had a remarkably smooth voice and an ability to cut through notes with great precision.

By the time he recorded 'Ordinary Fool', he was into his fifties but was still performing a couple of hundred concerts a year - hence the fine vocal control that he still had.

Mel Torme wrote hundreds of songs and arranged a good proportion of the music that he recorded.

I would recommend tracking down recordings from when Mel Torme was in his prime. They didn't call his voice The Velvet Fog for nothing, (although he referred to his sound as The Velvet Frog Voice!)

Here's 'Ordinary Fool', by Mel Torme, from 1977.

 

Walkinat9

Well-Known Member
A few coincidences - in the 1940s, Mel Torme wrote the music and some of the lyrics of the Christmas classic, 'The Christmas Song, (Chestnuts Roasting On an Open Fire)', which is the most performed Christmas song, according to BMI. Robert Wells was Mel's co-writer.

In 1977, Karen and Richard recorded the song and released it as a single. That same year, Mel Torme recorded 'Ordinary Fool', a song that Karen and Richard had recently recorded.

If you don't know the singing of Mel Torme, he had a remarkably smooth voice and an ability to cut through notes with great precision.

By the time he recorded 'Ordinary Fool', he was into his fifties but was still performing a couple of hundred concerts a year - hence the fine vocal control that he still had.

Mel Torme wrote hundreds of songs and arranged a good proportion of the music that he recorded.

I would recommend tracking down recordings from when Mel Torme was in his prime. They didn't call his voice The Velvet Fog for nothing, (although he referred to his sound as The Velvet Frog Voice!)

Here's 'Ordinary Fool', by Mel Torme, from 1977.

Oh man, that has to be one of my favorite male jazz vocalists of all time! I've often thought of him as the male equivalent of Ella Fitzgerald, similar sort of voice and singing style. I especially love the recordings with his vocal group The Mel-Tones (amazing harmonies :love: ) in the 1940s and '50s. In 1959 they released a wonderful album "Back in town". The personnel had changed a bit by then and the high voice is Sue Allen's, who can also be heard as the female lead with the vocal quartet on Karen & Richard's exquisite version of "I can dream, can't I?". Here's one of the songs from that 1959 album:



That's a nice dreamy arrangement of "Ordinary fool", although I must admit I'm not too crazy about how his voice was recorded there. It's almost as if you don't get to hear the full range of his voice. He sounds better on other recordings even later than this one...

Nice to know Mel made an album in 1978 with Buddy Rich (one of Karen's heroes) and also did a duet with Ella (another one of Karen's favorites)
And Ella of course also did a version of "Ordinary fool".

Have Karen & Richard ever met Mel Tormé or mentioned him in interviews?
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
Did I ever say how much I love this album ? Oh, I did.
Lately, two of these songs have re-entered my consciousness: Look To Your Dreams and Your Baby Doesn't Love You Anymore.
The former is a song (written 1974, recorded 1978, completed 1983) which I contrast and compare to I Can Dream Can't I.
The later is a nice complement to the earlier Hurting Each Other (YBDLYA being a wonderful work-lead by Karen from 1980, completed 1983).
I like this "reaction" :
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
It had not escaped my notice that Earle Dumler states
Voice of the Heart
as his favorite Carpenters' album (near 3 min, the recently posted 50th Panel discussion).
For all the reasons he states, I, too, have a great fondness for this album.
It is interesting to note that the trumpet solo on
Your Baby Doesn't Love You Anymore
is none other than Chuck Findley (flugelhorn on the song Close To You).
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
It had not escaped my notice that Earle Dumler states
Voice of the Heart as his favorite Carpenters' album (near 3 min, the recently posted 50th Panel discussion).

You beat me to it - Earle went to great lengths describing his thoughts about those final tracks Karen recorded and how much they touched him. I really enjoyed listening to him say that, because for the most part whenever anyone is interviewed about the duo they only really ever talks about the hits.
 

Martin Medrano

Well-Known Member
Two lives is so underrated along with at the end of a song. I just ordered the cd from ebay for $7 i call that a good deal along with close to you for $6 also from ebay and lastly the tan album for $10 again from ebay. Can't wait for them to arrive next week.
 
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