Wednesday, June 27, 2007

No. 36: Tapestry

Band: Carole King
Album: Tapestry
Why Rolling Stone gets it right: It's hard to argue with "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman," "You've Got a Friend," "So Far Away," "I Feel the Earth Move," and "Will You Love Me Tomorrow?" Great songs all, the barking dogs could record versions of those songs and they'd still be great.
Why Rolling Stone gets it wrong: This style of music, while cool and important, isn't all that great. This is 70s singer/songwriter stuff. James Taylor, Jackson Browne, etc. Carole King is part of that. That's not good.
Best song: "I Feel The Earth Move" is a pretty great love song.
Worst song: "Where You Lead" isn't that good.
Is it awesome?: Most of the best songs were done better by other people.

There's a certain affinity of Baby Boomers to the inoffensive easy listening rock and roll of the early-mid 70s. I'm cool with this in the case of Fleetwood Mac, but most of the rest is pretty bad.

Carole King certainly wrote a ton of great songs as one of the Brill Building people in the 60s. Working for girl groups and producers, she put out some of the great songs of the 60s ("(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman," being the operative one, but "One Fine Day," "The Loco-Motion," "Don't Bring Me Down" and "Oh No Not My Baby" were all King songs). Her own musical style just doesn't impress me. Her voice is pleasant enough, but her delivery is so vanilla that it's hard to really think it's anything special.

With that said, it's hard to deny the import of the record. It's sold millions upon millions of records Everyone in the 70s bought it. The songs are amazing, but the delivery is just OK.

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