Scott Grimes (1989)

1. You're the Voice +
2. You've Got a Friend
3. Show Me the Way To Your Heart
4. Call On Me
5. What Am I Gonna Say? *
6. I Don't Even Mind
7. You Belong to Me
8. Only Love
9. Pressure Down
10. Walkin' On the Water
11. Chance in a Million

Album produced by Richard Carpenter
except + produced by Richard Carpenter and Herb Alpert

* written by Richard Carpenter and Pamela Phillips Oland

U.S. CD release

Scott Grimes is Richard Carpenter's most ambitious production job, in my opinion. It is the farthest from a "Carpenters" sound of any of his post-Carpenters projects, although it remains absolutely identifiable as a Richard Carpenter production, mainly because of his multi-layered backing vocals throughout the album.

Scott Grimes was a child actor who got his start in the mid-1980s as a guest star on shows like "Who's the Boss." He had appeared on Richard Carpenter's first solo album, Time, singing lead vocals on the track "That's What I Believe."

Much of this album is synthesizer-driven pop music, with plenty of drum machines and pre-programmed keyboard tracks. Richard's keyboards are easily identifiable on a few tracks, and Carpenters-era musicians Joe Osborn and Tony Peluso put in appearances on a few tracks.

Scott Grimes sounds vaguely like Michael Jackson, with his well-developed yet thin, high-pitched voice. Between the very contemporary-sound material and the arrangements for a higher voice, I don't find myself wondering what Karen would have sounded like on any of these songs -- I don't think this is the direction the Carpenters would have gone if Karen had lived through the '80s.

Most Carpenters-like on this album are the songs "Show Me the Way to Your Heart" and "What Am I Gonna Say?" (which is the only song on the album actually written by Richard). "Chance in a Million" is my favorite track on the album; it is a lovely ballad with an incredible string arrangement by Richard. "Chance" is unusually spare for a Richard Carpenter track, in that there are no backing vocals and the accompaniment is only strings and piano (with a sax solo).

This CD has been out-of-print for years now, and it is quite scarce, although copies turn up on eBay from time to time.

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