A nice collection of holiday classics well-served by Richard Carpenter's deft musical arrangements and, of course, Karen's deep and gloriously melancholic alto. Includes my personal favorite, the Carpenters' own "Merry Christmas Darling."
Written by Richard Carpenter and Frank Pooler and originally released in November 1970 as the Vietnam War raged on, "Merry Christmas Darling" became an instant classic. It has since been remixed, re-released, and covered by many other artists, but for my money, the Carpenter's rendition remains the standard. If you do not know this song I highly recommend you give it a listen; it is one of the best tunes the brother and sister duo ever recorded. The plaintive lyric is presented as a letter to a loved one far away ("The lights on my tree/ I wish you could see/ I wish it every day./ Logs on the fire/fill me with desire/ To see you and to say/ That I wish you Merry Christmas/ Happy New Year, too/ I've just one wish on this Christmas Eve/ I wish I were with you...") and the warmth and yearning of Karen Carpenter's signature vocal is simply unforgettable.
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