Generally I am not a big fan of covers albums, but in 1994 "If I Were a Carpenter" paid tribute to the sugar sweet body of work left behind by Karen and Richard Carpenter in a way that made me realize that with the right touch, many of their songs were actually great tunes needing a little harder edge. Nothing against Karen's voice, for in fact I think she had one of the great pop voices of my lifetime. And when placed in the right context, such as their almost power-pop hit "Goodbye To Love", the fuzz guitar explosions propel the song into a universe that the Carpenters rarely chose to enter.
Case in point for the covers album, check out the version of "Hurting Each Other" by Johnette Napolitano and Marc Moreland. With an almost metal Spector wall-of-sound arrangement and a thundering bass propelling it along, it becomes a mantra to end the pain. Other than an ill-advised cover of "Close to You" by the Cranberries the CD is really worth checking out.
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