They very much copied the Carpenters which is why Karen’s direction on the solo album was what was needed to capture the rhythm and blues market. Would it have happened? Doubtful, but it would have sold enough to make a turn and turn away from all who copied them.One thing I did notice when perusing many of the music-industry magazines,
that is from 1975 to 1980, The Captain and Tennille were everywhere at the time,
which harkens back to the not-so funny-remark (imho) by the Smother Brother (on the Jan 1977 Tonight Show):
"you could win your crown back from The Captain and Tennille..."
The headwinds were very strong.