"ONE TO ONE was Carole's first album for Atlantic in 1982 and, until now, has never been released on CD. Well someone finally got the picture and decided it was long overdue.
One of the unfortunate things to befall Carole King is that TAPESTRY has often condemned her - her later work is always judged and compared to her 1971 classic. She was in fact never allowed to grow as an artist because she hit a peak and her subsequent sales (though good!) were only a fraction of what that album sold. The reviews of her later work also reflect that, with most being favorable, but not a par with TAPESTRY. Now although her late 70's releases were in fact NOT on a par with TAPESTRY or even MUSIC or RHYMES AND REASONS, Carole did seem to regain her footing after 1980, releasing a fun retrospective of her 60's gems cowritten with Gerry Goffin, PEARLS and then this, ONE TO ONE.
AMG makes an accurate observation of ONE TO ONE, saying Carole was not trying to reinvent herself. However, her song structures and knack for writing strong melodies were very evident with this album. I think it was necessary that Carole revert back to her strengths since WELCOME HOME and TOUCH THE SKY caused her sales high to regress. Now whether this effort is to be equated with "recycling" or "formulaic" is up to you; nevertheless, she turns in some great compositions here, notably "One To One," which became a Top 20 hit on the Adult Contemporary chart, "It's A War," and the assertive "Lookin' Out For Number One." Included here as well is a song cowritten by Gerry and Louise Goffin, "Life Without Love," which actually showcased Louise's tuneful knack, something she obviously inherited. However Carole's best original songs on this album are "Golden Man," "Little Prince," and "(Love Is Like A) Boomerang," all of which harken back to her Brill Building glory days. Although ONE TO ONE only sold modestly when it was originally released, topping out at #119, I believe it deserves a second look and like the majority of Carole's other albums should be judged only in and of itself. It's hardly necessary that it be "TAPESTRY" in order to be "good.""
Ask and you shall receive
Mickey Frith | Nashville, TN | 06/24/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I wrote Wounded Bird around a year and half ago requesting this title to be reissued. Their response to me was, "We'll look into it." And here it is, which just goes to show that "ask and you shall receive" works. :-)
I can't really add that much to DC Fan's excellent review. However, I do want to emphasize that if you were turned off by Carole's other Warner release from the early 80's, SPEEDING TIME, because of it's over-synthesized sound, please rest assured that ONE TO ONE is nothing like that album. The songs are warm, and the instruments are real. Carole's vocals are clear and strong. This album has sort of a THOROUGHBRED meets FANTASY feel to it, with just a touch of Laura Nyro's MOTHER'S SPIRITUAL thrown in.
Anyway, Wounded Bird did a fantastic job with this reissue. It looks and sounds fantastic! Please support them and purchase more of their fine releases: www.woundedbird.com. (P.S.: They also did a wonderful job on the Nicolette Larson and England Dan & John Ford Coley reissues.) "
MY Carole King Album
Aage Nielsen | Boise, Idaho United States | 09/09/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"One to One came out during my High School senior year. I had heard and really liked her songs all through my childhood, but Tapestry and Rhymes & Reasons were more from my older sister's generation. This one really felt like MY Carole King album. I just got it on CD today and I still remembered all the songs very well. As the other reviewers have said so well, this album is really good! The arrangements do not sound dated and topical material from the Reagan era, such as the title track and "Lookin' out for Number One" are still so fresh and relevant. In fact, SHE is still relevant. I saw her at a fund raiser for John Kerry at the Bouquet in Boise (where she wrote Main Street Saturday Night) and she was actually surprised that everyone in the audience seemed to know all the words to all the songs, and that it was OK to deviate from the early 70s material. She has had a home in Idaho since around 1975 and feels very much at home here.
Some of her songwriting here is so vintage King, like from the early sixties before she really started recording. "Boomerang" is such a song. Given the year of this release, it could have been given an overtly eighties treatment, but instead gets the cool California sound of some of Nicolette Larson's releases at the time. Goat Annie is cute without being insipid, even with a little quote from Smackwater Jack.
I honestly don't remember what the other kids were listening to in 1982, but this album, along with Melanie's "Arabesque" were about the only new albums I really got excited about back then. I guess wasn't cool enough yet for Echo & the Bunnymen. I think I am now. LOL
After 23 years I still wonder who the subject is in "Little Prince"."
I Am the Dancer
Lee Armstrong | Winterville, NC United States | 08/17/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Carole King's "One to One" CD is an underrated gem that delivers masterfully with Carole's exceptional songwriting, passionate vocals and sterling full-band musicianship. The Wounded Bird re-release does a nice job of updating this previously LP-only set to the digital age. "It's A War" is an excellent track with Carole on grand piano & Wurlitzer organ, "You got to keep your guard up, If someone else is hard up, he'll try to steal your dreams away." "Lookin' Out for Number One" seems to articulate the 80's philosophy in this 1982 set. "Life Without Love" may be the only song Carole recorded that she didn't pen with ex-husband Gerry Goffin and daughter Louise sharing the writing duties. It's nevertheless an excellent track that sounds as if Carole could have written it. "Read Between the Lines" boasts an excellent King vocal with one of her delightful hook-laden choruses. "(Love Is Like A) Boomerang" has another optimistic King chorus, "So if you want to give your heart, don't be afraid to try." [I know she sang one of the songs from this album in her Living Room Tour concert in Raleigh this summer; and I think it was "Boomerang."] Richard Hardy's alto sax gives this an excellent contemporary feel. Carole reunites with Gerry Goffin on the lovely "Someone You Never Met Before" that is a classic gorgeous melody with Louise Goffin's second vocal, "Until you discover your love, she's waiting for you & all you gotta do is let her in, and get her in, & don't live life lonely." The title track boasts Carole's life-affirming lyrics married to a catchy melody, "If I am the question, you are the answer; If you are the music, I am the dancer; Through all of the madness & all of the sadness of day to day living, we gotta keep giving." This CD reads well 23 years after its original release, confirming Carole King as one of our master musicians! Enjoy!"
Heart & soul collection~Brave Carole!!!
Bradly Briggs | TOLUCA LAKE, CALIFORNIA | 03/01/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Winding down in the late 70's after a series of classic lp's on the small Ode label, Carole King signed with major label Atlantic Records and made this stunning debut lp "One To One" which is equal to her finest work but strangely "One To One" received no airplay and seemed to go unnoticed except by hard-core fans who recognize classic songs from this icon plus Carole is clearly in her greatest vocal form in awesome musical settings. Soul-stirring passionate vocal make "Life With Love" engrossing while the great title "One To One" illustrate why Carole is a legendary singer-songwriter second to none...funky rhythm drive "Lookin' Out For Number One" featuring a hot burning vocal from Carole while "Golden Man" is a haunting musical journey easily in the Top Ten from this legendary musical wonder. Every song in this magnificent set is a winner and this tremendous collection is masterful & not to be missed. Thank you Carole for this musical treat today still sounding fresh and timeless!"