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Sunday, October 9, 2011

"Superstar"

The Carpenters - Superstar (1971)

Falling into a similar category as Killing me Softly, this song is from the point of view of a fan singing to a "Superstar".



My goodness this song is sad. I just really listened to the lyrics rather than letting it wash over as a sound like you do when 'easy listening' comes on the radio, but this is some seriously lonely pop. The singer has almost completely defined themselves by a one time affair with the 'Superstar' of the title and now gets misty just listening to the radio. Karen Carpenter sings this with such compassion and feeling you would think she had actually been in that situation.

The production takes advantage of understated strings and Karen's own quiet drumming. The choruses really come alive and make the casual listener forget what the song is about. We've got Horns, Trumpets, and the strings come more to the fore. Then we're back to the verse with just that little bit of drums, a heavy bass line and Richard Carpenters piano. When they use backing vocals they sound haunting, and the use of an oboe to lead off the whole track really sets the mood for this painfully honest song.

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