Love Postman! It's so fun, so catchy, and even after Now & Then, so unexpected.
Here is one view of the song (in which, I strongly disagree):
The Carpenters – “Please Mr. Postman”
HIT #1: January 25, 1975
STAYED AT #1: 1 week
"...background music was what the Carpenters did. The Carpenters had recorded plenty of covers before “Please Mr. Postman.”
They’d even devoted an entire side of their 1973 album Now & Then to new versions of oldies, strung together by a fake old-timey radio DJ.
But they’d never done less with their source material than they did on “Please Mr. Postman.”
Karen Carpenter, a singer capable of great nuance and empathy and sadness, gets absolutely no space to show what she can do on
“Please Mr. Postman.” She simply agreeably chirps the song, over a rigid polka-fart backbeat that sounds a lot like the slick late-’50s malt-shop music that Motown helped render obsolete. Tony Peluso plays rockabilly-ish guitar, and Bob Messenger plays a honking sax solo, even though the original “Please Mr. Postman” had been too efficient a song for guitars or sax solos. And so the Carpenters’ 14-years-later version of
“Please Mr. Postman” somehow sounds less advanced than the original."
They should have toured a lot less and spent most of their time in the studio crafting other masterpieces like MASQUERADE - and stopped their concentration on cranking out singles - it boggles the mind to try to imagine what they could have achieved by working full time at being a great studio band...
PLEASE MR. POSTMAN is a piece of pre-teenybopper nonsense that really is a throwaway fluffball with no redeeming features except its catchy beat - and who the hell is singing the lead on his? I'm told it's Karen Carpenter, but it's virtually impossible to tell - the singer oversings her own voice all the damn way thru the song sounding like some computer- generated Android - so I'll have to take someone's word that it's Karen...
It's actually an insult to THIS MASQUERADE to be included on the same record with the third-rate POSTMAN...POSTMAN should have been backed by GOOFUS and then you would have those two meritless peas in a pod...
It IS an odd pairing though, in my view, with This Masquerade. That song is a tour de force of the depths of Karen's vocal ability and Richard's classic Carpenters touches, and certainly not "lightweight".
I’m actually surprised there weren’t calls from people with musical taste back in 1974 to call for the single A-side to be flipped.
Actually, you could drop the sarcasm alert and you would have a fairly well-written, honest and accurate assessment of the merits (or lack thereof) of POSTMAN...*Sarcasm alert*
"Yes", the music critic snickers, "the Carpenters' 'Please Mr. Postman' is clearly sophomoric drivel, utterly lacking of any musical philosophical aesthetics. Indeed, this profoundly insipid Pablum grates on sophisticated ears as though each note were it's own special torment to the very concept of musical enlightenment."
Actually, you could drop the sarcasm alert and you would have a fairly well-written, honest and accurate assessment of the merits (or lack thereof) of POSTMAN...
My own review above was rather cold and harsh - and I apologize if I offended anyone- I need to use a lighter touch and I should have couched it's negativity in your softer and more sophisticated terms...
What surprises (and disappoints) me most here is the voting, where MASQUERADE only has a slight lead - I would have guessed that it would have been much larger, a "no contest" outcome.
And so after listening again to POSTMAN to make sure my critique was correct I had to listen to A SONG FOR YOU, DESPERADO and YOU'RE THE ONE back-to-back to clear or purge the old gray cells and reassure myself about Karen's incomparable natural voice and truly amazing vocal abilities...
But I'm glad some of you like and enjoy POSTMAN - I just can't (as the saying goes) wrap by brain around it...
As a big fan of so-called Fusion, or Smooth, Jazz for decades (including all of the talented vocalists who worked in that genre) I will say without reservation that the musicianship of the soloists on the Carpenter's records where it was allowed to shine thru extended interludes was on par with almost anything found at the top of the SJ world. The sax solo in A SONG FOR YOU is, of course, another really great example. And I always thought that the album versions of RAINY DAYS AND MONDAYS and MERRY CHRISTMAS, DARLING could have greatly benefited from more lengthy instrumental solos - I JUST FALL IN LOVE AGAIN would have been a perfect candidate for a far less bombastic arrangement that could have had piano and say acoustic guitar solos incorporated with beautiful results. I understand the need for shorter recording due to air-play consideration, but there was no real need for time restrictions (within limits) on the albums....
And I do love the piano and flute solos in 'This Masquerade' and 'It's Going to Take Some Time', and always have. Richard always demonstrated talent, taste, individuality, originality and a high level of musicianship in his arrangements. Where would we ever be without his vision and genius?
I voted for "Please Mr. Postman", especially since we're talking about the single. So far for me, the best sounding "Please Mr. Postman" I have listened to is on the single I own (Canadian pressing).
I am a bit ambivalent about "This Masquerade". However, I can say I really like the lyrics.