Underrated in 1974, but now one of their best
R. Aiello | Chicago, IL | 10/28/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"When "Horizon" was released in 1974, it broke the streak of Billboard Top 5 albums that the Carpenters held since the release of "Close to You" in 1970. At the time, people were concerned that they had lost their touch. In reality, they had only just begun to refine it (Pardon the pun).
"Horizon" is easily one of their best works, touching on many different genres, such as country, big band, electronica, new age, and of course, pop. Some of the best songs on this album are the ones that weren't hits:
"Happy" is a woefully underrated song with one of the catchiest hooks I've ever heard from the group. Tony Peluso's contribution was inspired and to this day remains one of the best songs on the album. It's a wonder it was never released, and for that matter, it's surprising that it has never been covered by someone else.
"I Can Dream, Can't I?" was ambitious in using a full Big Band and orchestrations by Billy May to not only replicate but re-create the era it was meant to represent.
"Love Me For Who I Am" gives a searing, sensual vocal by Karen and a blazing guitar solo by Peluso to drill its point harder than I've ever heard from them before.
And the bookends of "Aurora" and "Eventide" create an opening and a closing to an album that tells a beautiful story from start to finish.
"Horizon" was only 10 songs long, but each song played an important role in defining not only who the Carpenters were, but what they could have become. I defy anyone to call it "underrated" now. It's simply one of the best of all time."
Brilliant album with great song selection
Peter Durward Harris | Leicester England | 05/15/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Continuing their incredible but well-deserved run of success, the Carpenters came up with yet another great album in 1975. Book-ended by two tracks that only last just over ninety seconds (Aurora, Eventide), this album contains some truly great songs.
Among the songs that Richard co-wrote for this album, the best and most famous is Only yesterday, an outstanding ballad. Not for the first time, the Carpenters found some great outside songs to record including Please Mr Postman (a number one American hit and their biggest-ever British hit (number two), originally recorded by the Marvelettes and covered by the Beatles), Solitaire (a Neil Sedaka song also covered by Andy Williams), I can dream can't I (a huge American hit for the Andrews sisters in the early fifties, when it was credited as a Patty Andrews solo although her sisters sang backup vocals) and Desperado (the much-covered Eagles classic). Other highlights include Happy (which appeared on Singles 1974-1978 though it doesn't normally appear on compilations), Love me for what I am (a superb ballad) and I love you (another superb ballad).
This well-crafted album is essential listening for any fan who wants more than just the big Carpenters hits."
The last time Karen's voice would sound so good.....
John H. | boston, ma | 09/30/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Horizon is the final album in which Karen's vocals would sound so stunning. Her warm, gorgeous voice glows in this album, too bad the LP was so short. They toured so much and it seems there was not more time for studio work. Her voice never sounded the same after 1975. I do love this LP, yes it is melancholy to a degree, but so is life."