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Horizon
Carpenters

A&M SP-4530
Released: June 1975
Chart Peak: #13
Weeks Charted: 18
Certified Gold: 6/17/75

CarpentersHorizon, the Carpenters' most musically sophisticated album to date, smoothly adapts the spirit of mainstream Fifties pop to contemporary taste. While not an emotionally compelling singer, Karen Caprenter has developed into a fine vocal technician, whose mellow interpretations of the Eagles' "Desperado" and Neil Sedaka's "Solitaire" evidence professionalism on a par with such Fifties stars as Jo Stafford and Rosemary Clooney. Richard Carpenter has also grown into a highly skilled producer/arranger of easy-listening music.
Carpenters - Horizon
Original album advertising art.
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Against the carefully structured sound of the Carpenter formula, wherein Karen's solos burst in and out of diaphonous multiharmonies, Richard has imposed more elaborately orchestrated textures than before and wisely mixed them at a level that doesn't distract attention from Karen's intimately mixed singing.

For the Carpenters' many fans, Horizon offers their recent hits, "Only Yesterday" and "Please Mister Postman" (a diluted pastiche of the Marvelettes' 1961 hit that's nonetheless pleasant). I much prefer, however, the short, identical mood pieces, "Aurora" and "Eventide" that serve as the album's bookends, and most of all the Carpenters' lovely remake of the Andrews Sisters' 1949 hit, "I Can Dream Can't I." Beautifully orchestrated and coarranged by Billy May, one of the finest studio band leaders and arrangers of the Fifties and Sixties, "Dream" is such a gem of updated schmaltz it makes me wish that veteran masters of the studio like Gordon Jenkins, Ray Ellis, Nelson Riddle and Percy Faith would be encouranged to collaborate with other best-selling MOR acts of the Seventies.

- Stephen Holden, Rolling Stone, 8/28/75.

Bonus Review!

The grand, eloquent sound of their superb backup arrangements gives this act a special launching pad with which to catapult its vocal sound. Karen's strong and positive voice melds into her lyrics, be they on a by now well-known work ("Please Mister Postman" and "Only Yesterday") or an old evergreen like "I Can Dream Can't I." Karen's soft qualities plus her blending with brother Richard into an omni-directional attack provide easy to listen to material. One historic note: That's Billy May's arrangement for "I Can Dream Can't I," a song he originally worked on. Best cuts: "Solitaire," "Happy," "Love Me For What I Am."

- Billboard, 1975.

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