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Small parts of Carpenters songs that hook you

Discussion in 'A Song For You: The Carpenters Forum' started by Tony, Jul 31, 2015.

  1. Chris Mills

    Chris Mills Well-Known Member

    When Karen sings the word Radio on two songs: Superstar and Yesterday Once More(Reprise). Karen wraps her vocal cords around this word with stunning effect, it's so pleasurable to listen to. Well for me it is anyway!
  2. For me as well. And don't forget her treatment of "melody" on that same Yesterday Once More tune...

    I know it's subtle, but I've always enjoyed Karen's vocalization of the word "me". Instead of "meeee" it's more of a "muh-eee" with a bit more emphasis on the "m". Just another thing to appreciate about our beloved Karen!
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2017
  3. Brian

    Brian Active Member

    I totally agree. Lots of other great performances, but there's something extra special about 'Solitaire'.
    Carpe diem and David A like this.
  4. Brian

    Brian Active Member

    I love 'Road Ode' as well. The melancholy but warm, engaging and conversational quality of Karen's vocal in the first two verses, especially, before the first chorus, is all at once attention-grabbing, endearing and captivating.
    Carpe diem likes this.
  5. Carpe diem

    Carpe diem Well-Known Member

    I know a lot of fans think Solitaire is slow and plodding, but to me it's her finest recording. A cavalcade of her vocal brilliance, all measures of her talent is expressed on this single track...It is an amazing work IMHO...
  6. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    ^^Absolutely !
    Solitaire, as many have noted is a slow-boil ballad.
    But, as I have pointed out,
    This Masquerade and I Can't Make Music
    fall under that same rubric (slow).

    But, really, Solitaire has it all.

    Interesting how the use of the Pipe Organ (Single Solitaire)
    provided the gravitas for both
    Solitaire and I Can't Make Music
    to great effect in the arrangement.

    Richard Carpenter (Solitaire, Gold Liner Notes):
    "Why I felt that those two additions
    (guitar and pipe organ)
    were worth all the trouble and expense incurred is beyond me now."
    (To this comment , I say.....wake up Richard !)
    Jamesj75 likes this.
  7. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    Solitaire with the added pipe organ is infinitely better than the album version.
    Jamesj75 and K.C. Jr like this.
  8. CraigGA

    CraigGA Well-Known Member

    The added pipe organ and guitar added to Karen’s voice just make Solitaire soar and with each and every listen chills climb up my spine to the top of my head. It is exactly what the song needed for radio play. I wish I had heard this single version on the radio each time, but often the album version was played. I do feel that had there been television promotion on for it the single would have reached the top ten. Karen looked great for TV that year. It was opposite a typical summer song, but it a strong ballad, and sometimes those strong opposites make a difference!
    Jamesj75, BarryT60 and K.C. Jr like this.
  9. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    When we hear the doubling of Karen's background vocals:
    "...on my own way..."
    in Somebody's Been Lying.....

    I'd like to hear more of that type of "background" on Made In America....
    BarryT60 and Jeff like this.
  10. BarryT60

    BarryT60 Well-Known Member

    Ray Liotta used to be on the soap I watched growing up.... It was the Carpenters, Mary Tyler Moore, and Another World for me... A triple header in the 70's!
  11. BarryT60

    BarryT60 Well-Known Member

    I liked that reading of the word, Solitaire, for sure, but there's another one that was equally as mesmerizing to me - on the final chorus when the double Karen's and maybe Richard - sort of reverberates on the first syllable of SOLitaire... just before 'And keeping to himself he plays the game'... it's a very climactic portion of the song, and I love the vocal arrangement as well as the musical crescendo...
    Jeff and David A like this.
  12. BarryT60

    BarryT60 Well-Known Member

    Agreed.... Similarly to that tune, I like the intimacy on An Uninvited Guest. The versus on that song are a vocal triumph for me... Those little cracks in her annunciation... it really is like she is sitting right there next to you as so many have said through the years...
    newvillefan likes this.
  13. Carpe diem

    Carpe diem Well-Known Member

    Like your comment on Road Ode. A nice little hidden gem on the great "A Song For You" album. Karen, once again, nailing the emotional aspects of the lyrics. The fact that the song was written by a couple of her "Spectrum" bandmates was a big plus. I'm sure Gary Sims and Danny Woodhams must have been blown away that the best female singer in the world at that time, was going to record their song and put it on the album.
    Brian likes this.
  14. ThaFunkyFakeTation

    ThaFunkyFakeTation Ah am so steel een luv weeth yoo

    It's a decent tune. I know what they were going for but, IMHO, the lyric is pretty rough. It's like they knew what they wanted to say but had trouble saying it. Unfortunately, with a fantastic singer like Karen, lyrical flaws are spotlighted and they are for me here. The song feels very much to me like "We've Only Just Begun" sideways - especially the chorus. I do like the chord changes though.

    Carpe diem likes this.
  15. David A

    David A Active Member

    Agreed, on all counts - the lyrics on this make it tough to sing smoothly, but I like the "story" the lyrics attempt to portray. Your "It's like they knew what they wanted to say but had trouble saying it" sums my view as well.
    ThaFunkyFakeTation likes this.
  16. AM Matt

    AM Matt Well-Known Member

    On the Bacharach/David Medley from 1971, you can hear "woah, woah, woah.....wahhhhhhhhh" & then the instrumental part comes in & someone is laughing!! Matt Clark Sanford, MI
  17. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    That laughter was not spontaneous, it was contrived for the record, the same as it was on Jambalaya. Never liked it and it sounded awful whenever performed live. Same as Karen's "yee ha's!"
    AM Matt and ThaFunkyFakeTation like this.
  18. So many come to mind but going with All you get from love is a love song when Karen sings the word Breeze.
  19. ThaFunkyFakeTation

    ThaFunkyFakeTation Ah am so steel een luv weeth yoo

    I can’t remember if I said this but “Sing” has a few of these moments - most due to Richard’s vocal arrangement:

    Karen’s first “to last your WHOLE LIFE LOOOONG”

    Second verse - Richard and Karen’s backgrounds as the kids sing

    Richard and Karen’s “to last your whole life loooong”.

    The kids “la la la la la” behind Richard’s and Karen’s vocal line in the same spot. Masterfully arranged. The kids were made part of the “stack” and it’s genius.

    The “Ooh ooh” Richard and Karen do behind the second to last “just sing...sing a song”

    The kids on the last one.

    Great stuff from Richard all around. His vocal arrangement saves what’s otherwise a pretty cheesy idea.

    Chris Mills and Jamesj75 like this.
  20. Brian

    Brian Active Member

    Yes! I agree about the impact of all these moments! Wonderful wafts of sound and melody! Snatches that demonstrate Richard's immense skill.

    This recording has been recently canned a bit on one of the other threads but it certainly has a lot of expertly executed moments that hook you, and create echoes of more substantial works that utilise the same techniques, (counter-melody & harmony in choral works, for example).
  21. Jamesj75

    Jamesj75 Well-Known Member

    Revisiting this thread as I have been playing "Rainy Days and Monday" recently. So many wonderful moments in this song! I love the final word of the chorus "down" (held for a few seconds) in "Rainy days and Mondays always get me down" (at ~2:06), preceding the saxophone solo.
    David A, Jeff and GaryAlan like this.

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