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Official Review Carpenters Royal Philharmonic Review and Comments Thread

Discussion in 'A Song For You: The Carpenters Forum' started by Harry, Nov 26, 2018.

How would you rate Carpenters with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra?

  1. ⁕⁕⁕⁕⁕ (Best)

    19 vote(s)
  2. ⁕⁕⁕⁕

    24 vote(s)
  3. ⁕⁕⁕ (Average)

    7 vote(s)
  4. ⁕⁕

    0 vote(s)
  5. ⁕ (Worst)

    1 vote(s)
  6. Did not listen to this album yet

    1 vote(s)
  1. newvillefan

    newvillefan I Know My First Name Is Stephen

    I’m just listening to I Just Fall In Love Again and Baby It’s You again and I have to say, the technological restoration they have done on Karen’s lead vocals is absolutely stunning. They are so much more clean and clear and you can hear every single nuance and noise that comes out of her mouth. Absolutely incredible. The more I listen to it, the more I think Richard has created an absolute masterpiece with this collection. The reviewer that compared this album with the other RPO collections and said it stands “head and shoulders above the lot” is absolutely right.
  2. I listened for the first time last night with my bose noise cancelling earphones and reclined on my lazyboy while looking at the sky. Could not BELIEVE how her voice was restored. You really get the sense of how quietly and intimately she sang.
  3. * * * * *

    It's stunning... Like Karen is in my room singing along to the CD. I'm so overwhelmed. I'll review tomorrow. I got home, put it in my Samsung hifi system really high up and it sounds phenomenal.
    David A, no1kandrfan and Nawvish74 like this.
  4. Tony

    Tony Active Member

    It actually makes me very happy to know that you like this album as much as you do. I was worried that you and a few others would be disappointed.
    newvillefan likes this.
  5. Tony

    Tony Active Member

    Another great review:

    In review: 'Carpenters with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra' continues to build musical legacy

    Who knew how disappointed Richard Carpenter was even as he and sister Karen were building a musical legacy?

    Not disappointed, surely, with their success. Songs such as “Close to You,” “We’ve Only Just Begun” and “Rainy Days and Monday” were musical gold for the duo that would tour extensively (814 concerts between 1971 and 1975, alone), appear on nearly two dozen television specials and chart their own particular brand of hit ballads and mid-tempo pop through the 1970s and early ‘80s.

    Yet disappointed nonetheless with the technology of the time and the tepid results a tuned ear such as his would note in the final versions.

    Karen Carpenter died in 1983 at age 32 from heart failure caused by chronic anorexia. But now, more than three decades later, Richard is setting things to right with a new release that advances the Carpenters continuously evolving body of work.

    “Carpenters with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra” is a masterpiece of craftsmanship on myriad levels.

    Richard Carpenter, long noted as a gifted arranger, conducts the orchestra, adding an oboe line here, a bassoon there, a piccolo trumpet where it makes sense and some of the most lyrical string arrangements you will hear from any orchestral body.

    The result is inspired — and as near perfection as Richard Carpenter had always hoped.

    “The latest technology was employed to make right a number of blemishes and oversights in the original recordings that have been haunting me for years,” Carpenter writes. “To wit, key instruments in several of the songs were slightly out of tune and were not noticed by us until the records were either mixed or released … minor clicks, squeaks and creaks ultimately found their way into a completed record, much to our chagrin.

    “All have now been either expunged or corrected.”

    But exorcising musical gremlins isn’t the real beauty of this release. That lies in combining the multi-tracked harmonies of the “Carpenters sound” with songs Richard selected specifically to suit Karen’s three-octave voice range and the work of a majestic orchestra. The final version is a marriage crafted so precisely it produces a recording you didn’t know you were missing until you put in the ear buds.

    About those ear buds: noise-deafening environs are the only way to listen to this release. Only in the solitude of a closed environment with the volume at an appropriate level will you catch the nuances of Richard Carpenter’s definitive work here.

    And that work is extensive. Stunningly arranged, Carpenter’s brilliant overture segues into the most-appropriate “Yesterday Once More” and eases from there into every hit you’d expect to find, ending not-so-surprisingly given his lifelong efforts to keep the music moving forward, with “We’ve Only Just Begun.”

    The overall effect is the crafting of more than a bit of nostalgia for any listener of a certain era who came of age borne on these sentimental lyrics and smooth harmonies.

    “Carpenters with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra” completes an evolution of a signature styling long recognized for its influence on both generations and genres of music-making.

    In review: 'Carpenters with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra' continues to build musical legacy
  6. Kacfan

    Kacfan Member

    What a wonderful review! With the piccolo trumpet, I thought Richard said in the bbc morning interview (or was it somewhere else) that he has thought about this one for sometime. I am in Australia and got the disc first thing in the morning yesterday. I have Listened to it four times since then - the first time I was shocked by this addition to goodbye to love. Since then it has grown on me! With each listening I cannot help but feel so sad that Karen cannot be brought back and we can’t go back and help her get better. I can only imagine how Richard feels .
    no1kandrfan, byline and Nawvish74 like this.
  7. newvillefan

    newvillefan I Know My First Name Is Stephen

    Thank you, it’s nice to hear that people you have never met care about how you might feel. I’m genuinely touched by that :)

    I’ve listened to the album four times right through in the last 24 hours. I think having three songs drip fed as singles, out of context and with cold endings that made little sense made me think the entire project would be RPO-light. When you listen to the finished product, nothing could be further from the truth. It’s stunning and to me verges on the status of concept album, with all the interludes and modulation which segues one track that’s in one key into the next. Listening to Yesterday Once More in its proper sequence now makes so much more sense than hearing it on its own. The best surprises for me were the two albums tracks, which I think are the highlights of the entire album. I’m actually with @Rick-An Ordinary Fool in that I wish I’d waited to hear the whole album as I probably would have enjoyed it so much more that way. What can I do, I’m an obsessive with no will power :laugh:
  8. Graeme

    Graeme Active Member

    All 18 tracks have appeared on YouTube so I've been having a dabble as I won't have the album until tomorrow. One thing struck me about Goodbye To Love (other than the trumpet, which I have to say I really like): is this a different lead vocal at the 1.20 mark? Karen's 'from this day long is forgotten' before the first guitar solo sounds decidedly different to my ears.
  9. Kacfan

    Kacfan Member

    I wonder why Richard has to do that . He talks abut noises and cracks that made their way into the lead vocal in the liner notes and maybe that is why he replaced that line of the lead ? But it really stand out and make the song feel disjointed to me - at least until i get used to it .
  10. Harry

    Harry Charter A&M Corner Member Moderator Thread Starter

    I thought so too.
    Graeme likes this.
  11. Graeme

    Graeme Active Member

    I don't know if he has or whether her lead is just so much clearer now that it almost sounds new somehow. It leaped out at me though. I'm going to listen to the other version...

    So far my favourite is For All We Know. It all works perfectly.
    Brian, byline, Tony and 2 others like this.
  12. newvillefan

    newvillefan I Know My First Name Is Stephen

  13. Graeme

    Graeme Active Member

    Dreaded auto correct. 'From this day love is forgotten' not 'long'!
    Nawvish74 and newvillefan like this.
  14. By the way, does anyone know how the royalties work? For example, would Tony Peluso (estate) and the original band members get residual payment for this? (hope this isn't too off topic). I'm just curious.
    Tony likes this.
  15. leadmister

    leadmister Well-Known Member

    Yep. Performance credits apply here, same as always.
    Tony likes this.
  16. Harry

    Harry Charter A&M Corner Member Moderator Thread Starter

    I love that guitar. The song was always about playing that "sad guitar", now it has one!
  17. leadmister

    leadmister Well-Known Member

    The next best thing to enjoying this beautiful album is reading all of these beautiful comments in this thread today. I'm happy that so many people here feel the way I do about it. It's good to be among kindred spirits with whom I can revel in 50 years of good music. I have a feeling 2019 is going to be our year.
  18. Harry

    Harry Charter A&M Corner Member Moderator Thread Starter

    In the years in between the old original Carpenters recordings, I think it can be fairly said that Richard's musical abilities and talents on the keyboard have improved. But this album seems to give us the impossible impression that Karen's vocal abilities have also improved.

  19. BarryT60

    BarryT60 Well-Known Member

    I have only gotten as far as For All We Know, so far... I actually teared up during that one. It sounds new again. I also teared up at the segue & beginning lines to I Need To Be In Love. Knowing it was Karen's favorite, and hearing the lush intro.... well - I hadn't been counting the minutes for this like I had as a kid (for the new records), but now, I think I am just as excited after all. Stunning. #savoringeachmoment
  20. Graeme

    Graeme Active Member

    Hurrah! The slightly mangled sounding strings that have always bugged me around the 1.36 mark of Touch Me When We're Dancing have been redone! All is right with the world.
  21. newvillefan

    newvillefan I Know My First Name Is Stephen

    I don’t mind admitting that I had tears in my eyes hearing this track as well. As much as I love many of their other songs more, something about this song just touches me and always has. This version - and the way it evolves from an unexpected Spanish guitar intro into a majestically transformed orchestral version - just got me. I can’t even explain why.
  22. Tony

    Tony Active Member

    I've had tears in my eyes multiple times today!

    With respect to the Spanish guitar intro to "For All We Know", a couple of those phrases (the first being at the :10 second mark) call to mind "Now", almost as if Richard was giving us a little variation on a theme leading into the song. Perhaps I'm hearing more than was intended, but that's what it evoked for me and that colored and heightened the emotion in my experience.
  23. leadmister

    leadmister Well-Known Member

    I get what Richard has been feeling during the course of this project. It feels like she is back with us for just a few minutes.
    no1kandrfan, byline and Tony like this.
  24. CraigGA

    CraigGA Well-Known Member

    I always thought that the guitar at the end of Goodbye To Love is a note of freedom from the requirement of searching for love, and that the resolution of acceptance from the search is a new found freedom. The introduction of the piccolo trumpet helps introduce this celebrated freedom! Karen was great at excuting this lyric with her voice at the resolution of saying Goodbye to Love. I've always felt the guitar solo at the end and accumulation of voices and drums as a celebration. Now, it all makes perfect sense to me. Each song has it new addition that is perfect to me. I love it all, and don't mind the angelic singers, but the music stands alone without it. Maybe, there is some spiritual awakening Richard is trying to create as in that these songs are eternal with the life we bring to them as listeners.
  25. newvillefan

    newvillefan I Know My First Name Is Stephen

    For some reason, I’m reminded of a moment in a documentary about Freddie Mercury’s career when I think of this album and what Richard has achieved. In it, Mercury’s orchestral album Barcelona was discussed and Paul Gambaccini was interviewed, saying that whilst Freddie was obviously most proud of Queen’s original works, “boy, would he be glad he got this one in”. I wonder if Richard, at 72 years old, feels the same.
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2018
    no1kandrfan, byline and Tony like this.

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