Time was Richard's first solo effort following Karen's death. It is a fairly ambitious album, delving into synthesizer-driven pop, while also containing songs that are truly in the style of the Carpenters.
Richard was the first to admit that it should have been Karen singing these songs, and as an audience, we have to say it and move on. Most of the vocal duties here are caried by Richard, although he did recruit a couple of friends to help him out. Dusty Springfield sings lead vocals on "Something In Your Eyes," Dionne Warwick performs "In Love Alone," and Scott Grimes sings "That's What I Believe."
The album starts with two very pop-oriented, uptempo songs sung by Richard, "Say Yeah" and "Who Do You Love?" While neither is a particularly good song, it is interesting to hear something completely different from Richard. This is followed by Dusty Springfield and "Something In Your Eyes," easily the best song on the album. A soaring ballad, compellingly performed, this song was the only single released from the album.
Track four is Richard's official tribute to Karen, called "When Time Was All We Had." It is performed mostly a cappella, using Richard's famous vocal overdubbing style, and Herb Alpert provides a flugelhorn solo in the middle of the song. This leads into "Time," which is an instrumental piece (with Richard singing backing vocals, interestingly enough)."
The remainder of the album is made up mostly of melancholy ballads, with one upbeat song ("That's What I Believe," sung by Scott Grimes). The songs are all good, but none stands out as being exceptional. Dionne Warwick's vocals are sublime, however.
The failure of this album to sell a lot of copies or do well on the charts seems to have discouraged Richard from trying to produce any more of his own vocal music, which is a great loss. You can hear Karen in Richard's voice, and it's unfortunate to lose that.
Since this album, Richard has produced songs and albums for other artists; he produced an album for Scott Grimes (who sings on Time), and also for the Japanese singer Akiko. While neither of these albums was spectacular, it does present an interesting idea: what if Richard produced an album of original songs, sung by a variety of great vocalists? Imagine a Richard Carpenter arrangement with vocals by k. d. lang, or Gloria Estefan, or Olivia Newton-John...
Produced by Richard Carpenter
"Something In Your Eyes" / "Time" (didn't chart in the U.S.)
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