Teki’s Pick: The Carpenters

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Perhaps the best female singer of all time, in Teki’s opinion, Karen Carpenter has become synonymous to divine purity.  In an age where being a diva comes with belting powerful renditions,  Karen holds a kind of gravitas without the need for embellished vocal affectations.  It is because of this clarity and subtle emotional richness of her voice  that makes her a true born talent.
Through the guidance and leadership of Richard Carpenter, the tandem would perhaps be not as powerful.  His musical and vocal arrangements behind all of Karen’s hit songs are not just made to highlight Karen’s voice but Richard’s finest choice of musical harmonies.
Teki has created a 20-track playlist of her most favorite Carpenters’ songs spanning their 12 original studio albums.  It has not been an easy choice for Teki to do such a thing as she likes a large majority of their songs.  Surely, though, there are some of the songs that remain top picks in her heart.

A Few Playlist Highlights:

Play Now from the album Voice of the Heart (1983)
“The winds might blow through me but i don’t care.
There’s no harm in thunder if you are there”
The last song recorded by Karen before her death in 1983.  The song was released posthumously and included in the album Voice of the HeartThe song would also be included in an episode of the crime detective series Hart to Hart.
(This one is for Marg.  Now, baby, you’re a keeper.)
Play One Love  from the album Carpenters (1971)
“One love in my young love took me somewhere i had never been”
Reminiscent of first and great loves, the lyrics of songwriter John Bettis comes forth in this endearing song of eternal bliss and relationships that are meant to be.  The orchestration of this song comes beautifully like a kind of blossoming of long nurtured feelings, celebrating a future with one love.
Play Goodbye to Love  from the album A Song For You (1971)
“There are no tomorrows for this heart of mine.
Surely, time will lose its bitter memories
And i’ll find that there is someone to believe in and to live for
Something i could live for”
Another  John Bettis lyric contribution.  But the highlight of this power ballad is Tony Peluso‘s fuzz guitar solo.  Teki has always loved this song and puts it mostly on repeat these days.  It takes on a non-absolutist position about taking a break from love despite what the future may bring.  It is the lament that comes from recent heartbreaks.  Sometimes you just have to go through it to appreciate the surprises life may bring.
Play You  from the album A Kind of Hush (1976)
“Sorry if sometimes i look past you.
there’s no one beyond your eyes”
Teki has always loved this song for its vocal harmonies.  But this underrated Randy Edelman composition, a departure from his usual musical scores, is endearing to a certain degree.  It talks about the primacy of the one great love and the gratefulness that comes along when you find your fated soulmate – whether they be friend, lover, parent, child, and so on.
Play A Song for You from the album A Song For You (1971)
“And when my life is over, remember when we were together
we were alone and i was singing this song for you”
This Leon Russel original has a different take with the Carpenters’ rendition.  Noted should be Bob Messenger‘s tenor sax solo bringing a more emotional jazz perspective of the otherwise folksy original.
Teki has a personal love for this song and aptly included it in the soundtrack of her life.  Sometimes we sing special songs to the one special person in our life.

The Complete Playlist

Here’s the full 20-track playlist of  Teki’s choicest Carpenter songs.  And here’s enjoining all of you that each and every Carpenter album (and single) is worthy of a collection.