I was listening to that Rumer album on Spotify the other week. Anyway, I quite liked it and I could see how it’ll become the top unit shifter this year in the “Garden Centre Rock” stakes. Rumer does the whole Karen Carpenter/Dusty Springfield thing so well that it’s almost creepy how good she is at singing. It’s like she’s had a Ouija board direct through to Karen Carpenter in the studio control room and Karen’s been saying “no , no. Sing it like THIS!”.
The other good thing about the Rumer album is the extremely simple lyrics, mostly about love and failure. People can put records like that on when they meet a new guy, when they’re on their way to a funeral and when they’ve just been made redundant-it’s like anti perspirant-it works everywhere. The cleverness is in the universality of the songs. It takes huge skill to be able to do that as a songwriter.
I own 6 Carpenters albums. The last couple they made aren’t the best. But the first 5 or 6 years of their recording career they were magnificent. Richard’s songwriting was top notch before he got too far into drugs and Karen Carpenter is such a top, top singer, that listening to her always feels like drinking a fresh glass of ice cold water.
I think it may just be a few years ago me and a few mates were sitting around, drinking and everyone was playing stuff they liked. The one thing we could agree on and which we played 5 times was “Goodbye to Love”. The vocals, the arrangement, songwriting and a guitar solo which you just know was off the cuff. For something a bit weird try “Druscilla Penny” where Richard does the singing and their version of “Help” kind of shows where they were coming from.