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Official Review Carpenters Royal Philharmonic Review and Comments Thread

How would you rate Carpenters with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra?

  • ⁕⁕⁕⁕⁕ (Best)

    Votes: 23 33.8%
  • ⁕⁕⁕⁕

    Votes: 33 48.5%
  • ⁕⁕⁕ (Average)

    Votes: 9 13.2%
  • ⁕⁕

    Votes: 1 1.5%
  • ⁕ (Worst)

    Votes: 1 1.5%
  • Did not listen to this album yet

    Votes: 1 1.5%

  • Total voters
    68

no1kandrfan

Active Member
I heard the bonus track Please Mr Postman today, courtesy of a kind fellow forum member. Not what I expected and whilst there was one very unexpected twist in the arrangement, I’m glad it wasn’t on the album. I don’t think it would have fit.
I agree! But I hope we eventually get to hear Those Good Old Dreams.
 

no1kandrfan

Active Member
I just read the CD credits, and they credit both Karen and another musician as drummers on Yesterday Once More and Ticket To Ride. Interesting. It sounds to me as the original drum tracks were completely replaced. I'll have to listen more carefully.
 

cam89

Active Member
Magestic. I am tearing up listening to it. I have always loved the intro of Close To You segueing into We've Only Just Begun on The Singles 1969-1973 album....and wish he had done more connecting....and here he does and it is pure magic...a joy to listen to....
 

Song4uman

Well-Known Member
I’ve become so used to hearing the songs through headphones and hearing different instruments in different “places”, it seemed strange to hear a wall of sound just like hearing an orchestra live.
 

Jamesj75

Well-Known Member
Having had the chance to listen to the entire CD twice now, I am completely blown away! I feel the same emotions as others have eloquently detailed. When the segues, or interludes, have a life of their own and you find yourself wanting to hear longer versions of them, you know you are being treated to something special. As others have stated, the introduction to "For All We Know" is particularly phenomenal. I like the other ones, too. I love the new life given to these songs I've heard countless times. For instance, "Baby It's You" has somehow morphed into another sweet sensory experience.

As I've immersed myself in the music, I am also enjoying reading everyone's reviews, thoughts, and feelings. THIS is a banner day in the life of Carpenters' fans everywhere! I feel we are communally basking in the afterglow, and it's a great shared experience!
 
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And if Superstar doesn't rip out your heart!! the depth, the clarity, the instrumentation, the arrangement, Karen's vocals.....
I feel like I am noticing some kind of “electronic enhancement” of some sort...sorry I don’t have any better words to describe it. The first verse of Superstar seems to be where I can hear it the most. Its some kind of electronic processed kind of sound. The arrangement and vocal is beautiful, just something I am noticing.
 
I really enjoyed the album (under studio-reference closed-cup headphones)! It plays like an "evening symphonic (holiday) concert program" (with choir, of course)! My only technical complaint is Karen's voice in the verses of Superstar. It sounds like some kind of "phaser effect" was employed. It stood out to me as sounding a bit distorted and mechanical (then it mostly rights itself in the choruses). Did anyone else notice this?
Recently I commented about the "Goodbye To Love" coda having always reminded me of "Hey Jude". Therefore the trumpet part made me smile because it was so british-sounding. The guitar solo that follows seems even more prominent than ever. It was a real chill factor moment in the program for me.
I noticed the same effect in Superstar. Maybe I am not hearing what I think I am.
 
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.
I think that line is doubled in the original recording and here it is not doubled. Maybe its the same lead just not doubled?
 
Magestic. I am tearing up listening to it. I have always loved the intro of Close To You segueing into We've Only Just Begun on The Singles 1969-1973 album....and wish he had done more connecting....and here he does and it is pure magic...a joy to listen to....
When I first heard the sample of the overture a couple months ago, I suddenly got choked up and got tears in my eyes and I wasn’t sure why. Today the same thing happened again and I realized its because its so exciting and beautiful that we get to hear something new!
 

Murray

Well-Known Member
I feel like I am noticing some kind of “electronic enhancement” of some sort...sorry I don’t have any better words to describe it. The first verse of Superstar seems to be where I can hear it the most. Its some kind of electronic processed kind of sound. The arrangement and vocal is beautiful, just something I am noticing.
What you and @jaredjohnfisher are hearing on the verses of "Superstar" is not confined to the new RPO album. I just listened to "Superstar" on the "Yesterday Once More" CD, and on the "Love Songs" CD, and with the volume cranked up, Karen's vocal sounds the same - like she had a pronounced vibrato, or there was "wow and flutter" on the tape. Karen's vocals are more upfront on the RPO version than they've ever been, so it's more noticeable.
 

Chris

Well-Known Member
What you and @jaredjohnfisher are hearing on the verses of "Superstar" is not confined to the new RPO album. I just listened to "Superstar" on the "Yesterday Once More" CD, and on the "Love Songs" CD, and with the volume cranked up, Karen's vocal sounds the same - like she had a pronounced vibrato, or there was "wow and flutter" on the tape. Karen's vocals are more upfront on the RPO version than they've ever been, so it's more noticeable.
I'm glad I'm not the only one that heard the phaser type effect over Superstar. I noticed it right away. It sounds like some sort of error. It's something I've never heard before on the other versions, and I don't think it's just over her vocal. It's even more pronounced at times over moments with heavy cymbals. You can especially hear it when listening through headphones. It sounds to me like she's almost underwater at times or gargling. It's something unique to this album. What I'm hearing is not present on the YOM album or other mixes.
 

CARPENTERS-COLLECTOR

Well-Known Member
I'm glad I'm not the only one that heard the phaser type effect over Superstar. I noticed it right away. It sounds like some sort of error
I heard that straight away as well and thought `what is that?`

well, I listened to it twice last night and what a STUNNING album, simple as that, I loved it :D
I listened to it through the hi-fi, then through my head-phones and I have to say, as soon as that voice came through when she sang `hurting each other`, I filled up and couldn't even stop myself, crazy! Then I did it again when she sang `merry Christmas darling`, even though I`d already heard it.
stand out tracks for me, were `hurting each other`, `rainy days and Monday`s`, `this masquerade` and `we`ve only just begun`. Beautifully put together and arranged :)

as a side note I was thinking about last night I`d like to have seen, is that this was a double cd with the hits and well known stuff on cd1 and some of the less well known stuff on cd2.
we are all fans and have most if not all their albums, but for new listeners perhaps buying this album, I would have loved to have heard the orchestra behind tracks like `I can dream can`t I`, `somebody`s been lyin`, `ordinary fool` and `make believe` etc etc ...... just a thought!

Anyway, great album, loved it, so well done to everyone involved ....... THANK YOU XX
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
I'm wondering if he added the Spanish guitar as a tip of the hat to Jose Feliciano.
Great minds think alike, in my review I wrote:

What a surprise. Cold opening Flamenco guitar intro into this, absolutely beautiful. For a second I thought it was the long lost guitar opening that was wiped on the original recording”.

I just read the CD credits, and they credit both Karen and another musician as drummers on Yesterday Once More and Ticket To Ride. Interesting. It sounds to me as the original drum tracks were completely replaced. I'll have to listen more carefully.
I wondered about that too when someone else mentioned that Karen received a credit - I don’t hear any trace of her original drumming on the songs that feature new drum parts. Maybe it’s a nod to her because they mirror what she played?
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
My USA cd arrives Monday....until then....I revel in everyone else's pleasure !
I am brought to tears reading these fantastic reviews !

Here are excerpts from another published Review:
In review: 'Carpenters with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra' continues to build musical legacy
“Carpenters with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra” is a masterpiece of craftsmanship on myriad levels.
---
The result is inspired — and as near perfection as Richard Carpenter had always hoped.
---
"... 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."
---
“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."
---
The entire review is here:
www.wataugademocrat.com/mountaintimes/in-review-carpenters-with-the-royal-philharmonic-orchestra-continues-to/article_6212a3c4-fe43-51dd-be36-c0a759a75435.html
 
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Chris

Well-Known Member
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.
"I Just Fall In Love Again" is the one I was most looking forward to and it did not disappoint. I agree that it's stunning! Her vocal gave me chills. So gorgeous. It's such a gift Richard has given us. It's wonderful to know that this kind of quality was possible by going back to the source. For years I've wished for a remix of this song. As you and others have said before, the original version on Passage was beautiful, but rather flat and muddy sounding. This new one is glorious. I just can't get enough of it. It's the highlight of an album full gems.
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
Allmusic has this Review up:
"The worry with reworking the classic Carpenters recordings of the '60s and '70s is simply one of ruining a good thing. Why mess with songs that are largely considered to be perfect just as they are? This, especially in light of Karen Carpenter's tragic death in 1983. Thankfully, all of these worries are put to rest on 2018's lovingly constructed Carpenters with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Produced and recorded by Richard Carpenter at London's famed Abbey Road Studios, the album features many of the pop duo's biggest hits reworked with added arrangements by the illustrious British orchestral institution. As one would hope, Carpenter oversaw all of the album's production process from the arrangements to the recording, and yes, even to some very subtle and well-done pro-tools work to address minor inconsistencies in the original tracks that always irked him. Thankfully, none of this work mars any of the magic of original tracks, or gets in the way of his sister's crystal clear vocals, or their trademark multi-tracked harmonies. Part of the beauty of this project is that the Carpenters were always an orchestral-minded band, and songs like "Yesterday Once More," "Rainy Days and Mondays," and "I Need to Be in Love," already featured lush arrangements. Here, as on "Hurting Each Other" and "We've Only Just Begun," Richard expands the arrangements, adding extended orchestral introductions that reframe the original song with a welcome pomp and wistful gravitas. Of course, none of this would matter if weren't for Karen's voice, which remains the grounding focus of the Carpenters' sound. To some degree, her vocals have a cleaner, more immediate sound here, which works nicely with the added orchestral sheen. The Royal Philharmonic versions simply offer a way for Richard to present these songs in a fresh way that honors his sister, without losing any of the AM pop studio aesthetic that made them so compelling the first time around."

Source:
www.allmusic.com/album/carpenters-with-the-royal-philharmonic-orchestra-mw0003217745
 

ThaFunkyFakeTation

Ah am so steel een luv weeth yoo
I hope that at some point Richard reads these reviews, because ones like this prove that all the work he did cleaning up her vocals and removing the heavy reverb has not gone unnoticed.
He was the one adding the heavy reverb to the various remixes of tunes we've gotten over the years. We know this because the reverb wasn't anywhere near as pronounced on the originally-released recordings. He just used a lot less of it this time around and the results are far better, IMHO.

Ed
 
That little instrumental after Hurting each other just broke me down in tears. I'm about to face someone who was terrible to me this week, and I just noticed that theme before and after the song. (having trouble expressing my thoughts this morning...lots going on)....but anyway that theme is just so perfect personally and even politically. "Cant we stop hurting each other?" Has a completely deeper meaning with this recording.
 

CraigGA

Well-Known Member
I enjoy the new emphasis on the word ‘STOP’ in Hurting Each Other. And as noticeable in I Just Fall In Love Again as Karen’s reading is more metered is either the result of a different take or the result of a protools expert. Either way, the results on both are stunning!
 

CraigGA

Well-Known Member
It’s my absolute favourite on the entire album and I’ll be playing it for any family and friends willing to listen. The fact it’s not a well known single is all the more in its favour. The single best thing Richard improved was to strip back the cumbersome choir in the final, uplifting chorus. It improves the track 1000%.
After listening again this morning, when the electric guitar comes in after the second verse, my eyes begin to tear up, and as soon as Karen comes back in after the modulation, my tears dry, as if she has the answer to all our tears. Plus, the comment newvillefan posts helps this feel as a reality in the arrangement with the choir in the final, uplifting chorus stopped back. Simply beautiful.
 

Toolman

Simple Man, Simple Dream
The added power to the drum break on "I Believe You" knocked a small potted plant off my bookshelf.
The cold stop on "Hurting Each Other," the isolation of their overdubs as "Ticket" comes to a close, the gentle guitar added to "Superstar" -- lots of subtle changes that breathe fresh life into songs I've heard thousands of time. Very nicely done.
And I agree, "I Just Fall In Love Again" is much improved.
 
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