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Passage

Carpenters

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Album Review

Passage is surprisingly ambitious, almost experimental by the standards of the Carpenters — there are no Richard Carpenter-authored songs, a first for the duo, and what is here seems an almost conscious effort to sound different from their prior work. That includes the ornate versions of "Don't Cry for Me Argentina" and "Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft," both arranged by Peter Knight (best known for his work with the Moody Blues on Days of Future Passed). The Evita song, which comes complete with its surrounding musical material, is so much more elaborate than anything else on the album that it seems completely out of place. Richard evidently had what he felt were good reasons for choosing to record Klaatu's piece of space rock ersatz, and it is hard not to luxuriate in Karen Carpenter's enunciation of the lyrics, but overall "Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft" is one of those '70s records that is truly embarrassing to be caught listening to today, a pop culture Jimmy Carter-era artifact on a par with pet rocks. The album also has its unusually playful side, represented by the country number "Sweet, Sweet Smile" and the Calypso piece "Man Smart, Woman Smarter," although the latter doesn't work at all and neither track would ever find a place even on a "volume three" of the best of the Carpenters. Much more memorable was "All You Get from Love Is a Love Song," which also had more of a beat than one was accustomed to in the duo's music, and the dark, melancholy-tinged "Two Sides." The effort was admirable even if most of the results aren't memorable or essential.

Biography

Formed: 1968 in Downey, CA

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s

With their light, airy melodies and meticulously crafted, clean arrangements that appealed to a variety of audiences, the Carpenters stood in direct contrast with the excessive, gaudy pop/rock of the '70s; yet they became one of the most popular artists of the decade, scoring 12 Top Ten hits, including three number one singles. Karen Carpenter's calm, pretty voice was the most distinctive element of their music, settling in perfectly amidst the precise, lush arrangements provided by...
Full bio
Passage, Carpenters
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  • USD 4.99
  • Genres: Pop, Music, Soft Rock
  • Released: 01 January 1977

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