Picks and Pans Review: Pianist-Arranger-Composer-Conductor

updated 02/02/1998 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/02/1998 AT 01:00 AM EST

Richard Carpenter

It was 1969, the year that witnessed Woodstock, Altamont and Let It Bleed, when a brother-sister act called the Carpenters crept upon the scene with their gently melodic sound. While Karen's flowing vocals would help define the pop mainstream through the first half of the ensuing decade, older brother Richard, who wrote and produced many of their hits, became an architect of what is now known as Adult Contemporary music. Having kept a low profile since his sister died of heart failure resulting from anorexia nervosa 15 years ago, Richard returns here with instrumental versions of Carpenters tunes. Trouble is, without Karen's voice, they sound like songs best suited to elevator travel. This CD is bound to upset the people at Muzak: Carpenter has already done their work for them. (A&M)

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