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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Close To You

Carpenters

1970

Close To You
Album Summary

Close to You is the second studio album by American duo The Carpenters, released on August 19, 1970. In 2003, the album was ranked number 175 on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time, maintaining the rating in a 2012 revised list. The album contains the hit singles "(They Long to Be) Close to You" and "We've Only Just Begun". The former was the duo's song that gained the Carpenters an international reputation for a decade. The album topped the Canadian Albums Chart and peaked at number 2 on the US Billboard albums chart. It was also successful in the United Kingdom, entering the top 50 of the official chart for 76 weeks during the first half of the 1970s. The album and its singles earned Carpenters eight Grammy Award nominations including Album of the Year, Song of the Year, Record of the Year. It won the Best New Artist and Best Contemporary Vocal Performance by a Duo, Group or Chorus for the single "(They Long to Be) Close to You".

Wikipedia

Rating

3.12

Votes

11512

Genres

  • Rock
  • Pop

Reviews

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Wed Mar 24 2021
1

“Close to You” by The Carpenters (1970) I’m embarrassed to say how familiar I am with this album. For most of my adult life these delicacies topped the grocery list of songs ‘most likely to make me change the station’. With starchy and otherwise unremarkable instrumentals, lyrics and melodies mostly snatched off the plates of others, and a compulsion to sample everything on the arranging buffet, these siblings offer high calorie fare for mass indulgence. Karen’s voice, a syrupy contralto, is spiced with touching croaks. Richard’s easy-to-imitate keyboards and backing vocals are like gravy on quaaludes. The opening track, “We’ve Only Just Begun”, is sugar-coated sugar, played at way too many weddings while bride and groom stuffed into each other’s mouths all that cake with extra frosting. The message is so unrealistically idealistic that many marriage veterans must have felt the urge to purge. The other super-hit from this high carb collection is the title track, “Close to You”, which should be banned for metaphor abuse. The rest is ear candy at best, if not intravenous sonic glucose. This is an album that, unfortunately, will stay with us forever, like middle age paunch. 1/5

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Mon Apr 04 2022
1

Nope, they should have stuck to carpentry.

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Wed Jun 30 2021
4

It's hard not to love the Carpenters. Karen has a gorgeous voice, and their songs just have such a beautifully wholesome and melodic quality to them. Some of the duo's biggest hits, 'We've Only Just Begun' and 'Close to You' are here, but every track is worth listening. Their cover of The Beatles' 'Help' is inspired, and I've always been a fan of their somewhat less popular but still fairly well-known track "I'll Never Fall in Love Again".

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Sat Apr 17 2021
1

Sickly sweet twee bullshit. This album lasts 2340 seconds and for ever single one of those seconds I wanted to switch this off. Devoid of any redeeming qualities. Wank.

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Mon May 17 2021
5

An absolute masterpiece of an album. Every track on the record is laced with intricate instrumentation and lovely vocal harmonies, and to top it all off, you get Karen Carpenters stunning voice. Fantastic stuff👌🏽

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Wed May 31 2023
2

This is a very pleasant album that I’ll probably never revisit.

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Mon Sep 14 2020
4

I absolutely love Carpenters, esp. Karen Carpenter whose vocals are hauntingly beautiful, but have to say I have never listened to a full album. 'Close to You' is a beautiful record, with the title track and 'We've Only Just Begun' as highlights. Of course it wouldn't be a Carpenters album without a Beatles cover ('Help') and some slower ballads to pad out the tracklist. 'Crescent Moon' and 'Another Song' were intriguing additions; especially the latter with its movement from pop to jazz in one song. If I wasn't such a big Carpenters fan I'd probably give this a 3, but as I love them so much and as the title track is just so stunningly gorgeous, it's gotta be a 4 from me.

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Wed May 26 2021
4

Warm, elegant, jaunty and sophisticated pop. Beautiful.

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Wed Aug 17 2022
1

My initial reaction upon seeing today's album: "Ugh, the Carpenters." Despite a deep desire to just skip it, I decided to embrace the spirit of this exercise and skimmed the album instead. My knee-jerk reaction was justified. This album should have been titled "Music for the Soulless." I'm a white guy. I go out into the sun and I burn within approximately 8.3 seconds. And when the pain and suffering caused by my third-degree burns are over, I return to a mirror-like shade of white. No tanning involved in the process. Despite that, this album is *way* too white for me. It's so white I need sunglasses to protect my eyes from the glare. It's whiter than an albino Mormon eating mayo on white bread in a snowstorm. It is the epitome of every "white people have no soul" stereotype. Tower of Power sang about people catching honky pox, and this album was surely the vector that infected Patient Zero. I literally listened to "Soul Vaccination" after skimming this album, just to be safe. If you need proof of this album's violent blandness and mediocrity, look no further than their cover of the Beatles' "Help." They've turned an incredible song into saccharine schmaltz. It is an atrocity. A crime against humanity so abhorrent that they should have been tried at the Hague for it. It makes one wonder what the world might have looked like if Karen Carpenter had used her vocal talent for good instead of evil. Regardless of the answer, it's ultimately just a fantasy. The reality that cover--and the rest of the album--represents will haunt my dreams for the rest of my life.

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Mon Jul 04 2022
1

Alice Cooper, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple all owe royalties to The Carpenters. We were forced to listen to The Carpenters' dribble when AM stations were the only option. They are the main reason that our Christmas and birthday lists were full of requests for The Coop, Sabbath, etc. Karen Carpenter's story is tragic and I sincerely hope that she rests in peace. But the music still sucks.

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Wed Jan 27 2021
5

Great! Mostly the songs are very sweet, but also interesting. What struck me most was the drums and percussions and the use of weird instruments like flutes.

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Thu Mar 18 2021
5

Oh man I loved this album, such beautiful chords and harmonies.

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Mon May 31 2021
5

Just beautiful music and lyrics with perfect harmony, no biggie.

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Sat May 22 2021
5

The Carpenters is always a good one. It was nice to have an album I like on my birthday. ;)

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Sat Apr 17 2021
5

Saved Prior: None Not Saved: 12. Help (Hard to outdo the Beatles) 11. Crescent Noon 10. Baby It's You Cutting Edge: 9. (They Long To Be) Close To You (Crazy that this was their huge hit. I'm sure it'll grow on me) Off Rip: 8. Reason To Believe 7. I'll Never Fall In Love Again 6. Another Song 5. Maybe It's You 4. Mr. Guder 3. I Kept On Loving You 2. We've Only Just Begun 1. Love Is Surrender Overall Notes: This album made me go :). Happy music. Can't wait to take some summer drives to this.

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Thu Feb 25 2021
5

Sarah’s Mum’s favourite album 🤗🥰

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Fri Aug 20 2021
2

I can’t do this kind of ethereal saccharine music. It is what it is though, and it’s not inherently bad per se.

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Fri Sep 02 2022
1

I don’t understand how this album made the list. It had a few hits but overall I find it to be mediocre sentimental garbage. I found it to be generally boring and that “Help!” cover was particularly awful.

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Thu Mar 18 2021
5

Karen's voice & vocal range is amazing! Richard's musical skills are legendary! What a wonderful album!

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Thu Mar 18 2021
3

This is the beginning of superstardom for the Carpenters. Their mix of pop, soft rock and folk with some sweet harmonies is undeniable here. That being said, is this the best Carpenters album? Probably not. Will I constantly come back to this one? Also probably not. However, the influence of the Carpenters can be heard throughout the rest of the 70s and Karen Carpenter is a badass. Her story is a roller coaster if you’re ever interested. Favorite song: Help (good Beatles cover) Least favorite song: Mr. Guder

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Wed Jan 20 2021
3

Was really surprised by this one, ended up liking it a lot more than I thought. While not a fan of the sort of soft rock of the 70’s that they make, it pretty undeniable the level of talent there, and I honestly say it’s music that is catchy and sticks with you. I think I’d give it a 3.5 Standouts for me were We’ve Only Just Begun, Love Is Surrender, and (They Long To Be) Close To You

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Fri Feb 24 2023
3

Some good stuff (We've Only Just Begun, Close to You), some bad stuff (Crescent Noon). Didn't really like the covers of Help or Baby It's You. The last song (Another Song) was pretty cool/experimental, which bumps it up to a 3/5.

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Sat Apr 17 2021
2

No doubting the voice but god it’s so twee and sweet. I can still acknowledge that it contains some very well crafted songs though

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Fri Sep 30 2022
2

I was ready to write this album off, but "Mr Guder" caught my attention. The backstory is it is aimed at a certain Vic Guder who was their supervisor at Disneyland and would scald them for playing requests from the park visitors (including "Light My Fire" of all things! Can you imagine?) instead of "Disney approved" material, eventually firing them. The result is hilariously the softest, fluffiest diss track ever, and though it doesn't have the ferocity and rebellious spirit of say MC5 or even CCR, never would I have imagined something like this coming from The Carpenters, and just for trying to stick it to Disney and corporate cow-towing culture, I have to give them a certain amount of credit. Because we've all had to deal with a Mr. Guder at one time in our lives.

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Sun Jan 31 2021
1

Kind of lame my grandma might like it

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Fri Jul 30 2021
1

Absolute shit. Hated every second

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Mon Apr 04 2022
1

During an interview with Time Magazine in 1982, Karen Carpenter revealed she had a major crush on upcoming football prodigy, Nigel Spackman. When asked about the revelation, Spackman is quoted as saying "I'd fuck the shit out of her ass 'til kingdom come, but unfortunately I'm dating my own uncle right now". It remains unknown as to whether the two did eventually fuck the shit out of eachother, but a close source tells us to "get out of my house you lunatics, before I call the police".

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Thu Jul 08 2021
5

Que gran disco. Wholesome. Me parece que nunca había apreciado lo conmovedor que suena el hitazo close to you, no tanto por la letra, sino que la instrumentación y la voz están muy chidas. Además de esa, me gustó bastante Mr Guder que contrasta con el resto del disco pues llega sonar algo creepy y el energético final another song, suena como a que un estado de felicidad tranquila y movidita a la vez al final del disco. Mood: el día en el que tú naciste (the angels got together?) nacieron todas las flores

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Thu Jul 08 2021
5

Mejor que cualquier disco de Fleetwood Mac cocainómano pop.

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Tue Aug 17 2021
5

Really enjoyed it. Best album this generator has provided thus far. Karen’s vocals are immense 👍🏾 One of them albums where you’ve heard the songs already

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Mon Oct 04 2021
5

Ша ла ла ла и ОУОУ

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Wed Nov 03 2021
5

Fav songs: - Maybe It's You - Help - (They Long To Be) Close To You) - Crescent Noon

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Tue Dec 14 2021
5

i mean... it's the carpenters

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Sun Feb 27 2022
5

The album is psychedelic pop. It has elements inspired by the Beatles. My favorite tracks are “Help” and “Another song.” It’s very experimental.

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Thu Mar 03 2022
5

Whoa! These harmonies. There's also an interesting balance of these very familiar timbres paired with more challenging songwriting. It's like a really intimate, heavy ballet. Favorite Tracks: Love is Surrender, Mr. Guder, I'll Never Fall in Love Again

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Sun Mar 20 2022
5

you can see the flares, and the inserting of the cassette into the beat up car heading on the road trip, and the singing of the school choir and it seeming a bit naff but the songs are great and its jazzier than you think

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Wed Apr 27 2022
5

Mom is wrong the Carpenters are good

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Thu Jun 16 2022
5

Naprawdę mi się podobało. Nie tylko głosy 2 wokalistów fajnie się łączyły, ale wiele piosenek miało niesamowicie chwytliwe melodie. Do tego te skrzypce niekiedy. Spoko albumik, myślę że nawet dam 5, bo choć muzycznie to nie jest rewolucja, to słuchało się bardzo przyjemnie

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Thu Jun 16 2022
5

A wonderful record. Beautiful voices and upbeat music make Close To You radiate with joy and optimism of the early 70s. Splendid. Highlight: whole album, really

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Wed Jul 13 2022
5

I really enjoy the soft sound, catchy writing, and the combo of the pair's vocals. Plus, Help was a very welcome surprise well executed.

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Wed Jul 13 2022
5

For some reason I never seem to think "Oh boy, I really want to listen to The Carpenters today," but every time I do they draw me in like no other. The arrangements are just perfect, every texture and layer absolutely decadent. And Karen herself is a magnificent gem, of course. This was simply a delight.

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Wed Aug 03 2022
5

As the two singles compilations are perfect, I usually do not listen to regular albums of the Carpenters. However, some of these are excellent too, like this one. First half is perfect (5*). Second half has a decent share of 5* moments, but is perhaps a little inconsistent. Overall: 5*.

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Wed Aug 24 2022
5

Trop bon. Une decouverte pour moi aussi fou que ca peut l'être. 5*

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Fri Sep 09 2022
5

Great album. Loved every song. The vibe of this album was immaculate. I am glad I listened to it.

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Sun Sep 18 2022
5

5 I just love this album. "Close To You" has been with me for a long time, and always makes me think of my mom, like a lot of other music on this list, but this song beats most. Also "Reason to Believe" caught me off guard. I've listened to Tim Hardins song A LOT especially Karen Daltons and Rod Stewarts version and it hit me so hard the first time I heard it in "Every Picture Tells a Story". Hadn't heard "Help" and "Another Song" before, and they both really positively surprised me. I was scared the whole thing was going to be way too sweet, but you can really feel both their musical presence, and it's so endearing.

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Fri Oct 14 2022
5

Burt bacharachs writing and Linda’s voice

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Mon Nov 07 2022
5

What can I say other than it’s filled with back to back Smooth Radio classics

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Fri Dec 09 2022
5

So, wasn't expecting to mike this as much as I did. Saccharine, maybe, but sort of perfect pop

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Fri Dec 09 2022
5

I thought the carpenters were just this lame band that exclusively played slow, boring love songs, and that Karen wasn’t that good of a singer. I was very wrong

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Thu Dec 22 2022
5

It's such a mellow album. Really like their chill energy

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Sun Jan 08 2023
5

One would think that the sound of the Carpenters would be from meticulous plodding in the studio for perfection. However, this was thrown together to capitilize on the strength of the title tracks release and success as a single. It also happens to be their best album. Sometimes inspiration is more important than perfection and can lead to the second without all the planning.

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Fri Jan 27 2023
5

Austin Powers stans rise up. Honestly I’ve loved everything I’ve heard from Carpenters and I’m glad I’ve heard this. This is easily one of my favorites from this list. I love Karen’s voice and the melodies are entrancingly beautiful. 5

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Fri Feb 03 2023
5

Fire 🔥🔥🔥🔥 straight heat

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Fri Mar 03 2023
5

Started off feeling like a classic folk album, but the ability for almost every song to peak in the middle of it was so good. Her voice is amazing and left me wanting to just keep listening, and felt like great music.

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Sat Mar 04 2023
5

Rating: 9/10 Best songs: We’ve only just began, Love is surrender, Reason to believe, Close to you, I’ll never fall in love again, Crescent noon

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Mon Mar 06 2023
5

A very beautifully sounding album. Cannot go wrong with this one! Such a nice listen all the way through. One of the most powerful drummers to exist and was forced to tone it down for this one but did it so well, not having Karen on all drums is a crime but it didn’t take away from the softer sounds of this album and brought her beautiful voice to front and center. Great album and great listen!

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Mon Mar 06 2023
5

This is an extremely good post cry listen, feels very soft and comforting. Love her voice, definitely adding this album to my music.

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Mon Mar 13 2023
5

I did not know how much I’d enjoy this. Karen Carpenter is incredible and I never knew that or anything about the tragedy that was her early death.

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Thu Mar 23 2023
5

It's the Carpenters, absolutely for me.

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Mon Apr 03 2023
5

Fun album! Little Bit of baroque pop, little bit of folk rock. Great harmonies. That last song is bizarre but not unwelcome!

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Mon Apr 03 2023
5

It’s really good.Close to you is such a good song.I also like the opening track and mr guda. Karen’s voice is amazing.It never gets annoying as well which is crazy because how happy and airy the album is.But there is so much complexity and different parts to the songs it’s crazy.

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Sat Apr 22 2023
5

Massively underrated band. This is the evolution of what Brian Wilson was doing on Pet Sounds and deserves recognition as such.

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Fri Jun 02 2023
5

I was incredibly excited to get this album today. I enjoy a lot of soft rock, but somehow, I've never listened to this album. I've heard "We've Only Just Begun" and "Close To You," but I've never really kicked back and actually listened to them. I've heard that Karen Carpenter has one of the best voices of all time, and after listening to this album, I would strongly agree with that statement. Her vocals were absolutely perfection on every track, and each song here was a joy to listen to. Richard Carpenter's vocals, when they seldom appear, are also really nice, but he definitely can't compete with his sister. The instrumentation here may not be much, but that's exactly what this album needed, so that Karen's vocals could shine. I usually like it better when people write their own music, but that didn't bother me here. This isn't the type of album that I'm likely to listen to frequently, but when I'm in the mood for something gentle and pleasant, I'll have no problem firing this up. I had a wonderful time listening to this.

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Wed Jun 07 2023
5

How can you not like The Carpenters? Didn't know they covered Help! though.

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Wed Jun 07 2023
5

5/5 I'd give this 5/5 just for CTY and WOJB. Two of the most perfect songs ever recorded.

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Fri Sep 08 2023
5

Reminds me of music with my mom

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Fri Sep 08 2023
5

Lovely. It feels timeless and elental. Masterpeice start to finish.

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Fri Sep 29 2023
5

Fantastic album, slow and melodic without being boring

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Tue Oct 03 2023
5

This is a great pop album. Haters are missing out; to them I'd say let go of your ego, listen without thinking about what you're going to say about the album later, just experience it now, in the moment.

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Wed Nov 15 2023
5

I remember my mum telling me one of my friends reminded her of Karen Carpenter. I told my friend only to get the response "didn't she die from anorexia?". Oops.

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Mon Nov 20 2023
5

she was so beautiful but she couldn't see it...

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Tue Nov 28 2023
5

10/10 holy shit, first Carpenters album I’ve heard and it’s such a masterpiece favorite track was probably Mr. Guder, and I loved the way it transitioned into the final two tracks

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Wed Dec 27 2023
5

I haven’t listened to this album in its entirety for a very, very long time - and I feel like I’m appreciating it for the first time. The MONSTER hits on this album cast a huge shadow that, until today, had obscured much of what The Carpenters have created from me. Help is the best cover of that song rivaled only by Tina Turner’s version. But no less amazing is the cover of Baby It’s You. It’s so wistfully beautiful - like a totally different song. And can anyone else consistently can stand up next to Dionne Warwick when performing Burt Bacharach/Hal David tunes? Richard Carpenter’s contributes some incredible songs to the album. Crescent Noon is beautiful. Mr. Gruter is early 70s baroque perfection arranged perfectly. Paul Williams’ compositions are in the best possible hands here as well. Who knew that a bank jingle could become a cultural staple (We’ve Only Just Begun)? Sappy & sentimental in the best possible way - only a cold-hearted grinch couldn’t relate to this song at one time or another. It’s easy to take this for granted, but you are the worse for it if you do. But I keep going back to those John Bettis/Richard Carpenter compositions again and again. They are inventive and surprising to me and certainly something I have underappreciated and overlooked until today. I keep finding myself drawn to them. Perhaps Richard Carpenter felt ultimate artistic freedom in crafting those arrangements because they are some of the most creative arrangements around. These ethereal masterpieces wait to be discovered in the shadows cast by Close To You and We’ve Only Just Begun. In some ways today I’m just realizing there is a whole lot more to The Carpenters that I’ve only just begun to hear.

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Wed Dec 27 2023
5

Beautiful. A wonderful Christmas gift!

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Wed Dec 27 2023
5

Just lovely. The voice of an angel, I tell you.

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Wed Dec 27 2023
5

Being quite familiar with greatest hits compilations of the Carpenters, I was quite blown away at how much I loved every single song on this album that I'd never listened to. Adored, in fact. It's such a wonderful collection of interesting songs and styles, all with that Carpenters magic. This one should have been with me a long time ago.

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Fri Feb 02 2024
5

I’m unsure how many Carpenters songs I could name, but I do know that I’ve really enjoyed everything I’ve heard so far. I have a feeling that my dad told me when I was a kid that they were one of his favourite artists when he was a kid, but I very well could have made that up. Songs I already knew: We’ve Only Just Begun, Help, (They Long To Be) Close To You, I’ll Never Fall In Love Again Favourites: literally all of them (but extra for Close To You) This album might just be one of the most beautiful pieces of music I’ve ever heard. Close To You gave me full body goosebumps and brought a tear to my eye. Karen Carpenter’s voice is so soft and angelic, like an auditory blanket of soothing sleepiness. I can’t fault anything here. It’s just so lovely.

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Mon Feb 05 2024
5

Its not perfect but its pretty close - would likely be around a 4.75 Its clearly targeted to a very specific audience which is resulting in some low scores but I don't think this is a flaw in itself

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Wed Feb 07 2024
5

What a beautiful album. Lovely harmonies and Karen's drumming is insane, especially on the closing track

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Fri Feb 09 2024
5

Man I like Karen Carpenter's voice. Bubbly album, light hearted and fun to listen to. Close to You is great here, but I also really liked we've Only Just Begun, Mr. Guder, and Another Song.

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Wed Feb 21 2024
5

Simply "THE VOICE". Never be another one like her....additionally, as a young drummer this was the first group where I could play along...extra points for that!

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