|Released||June 11, 1976|
|Genre||Pop, easy listening, adult contemporary|
|Producer||Richard Carpenter/Associate Producer - Karen Carpenter|
A Kind of Hush is the seventh studio album by American popular music duo The Carpenters. It was released in June 1976.
By the time of the album's recording, Richard Carpenter's addiction to sleeping pills had begun to affect him professionally, and he blames this for the album being, in his opinion, sub-par. All three excerpted singles became hits. "There's a Kind of Hush (All Over the World)", a cover of a 1960s song by Herman's Hermits, broke both the UK Top 30 and US Top 20, as well as topping the adult contemporary chart. "I Need to Be in Love" hit number 25 in the US and number 36 in the UK."Goofus" was only a minor success, stalling at number 56 on the Billboard chart, though it did crack the adult contemporary top 10.
John Bettis called "I Need to Be in Love" the favorite lyrics he ever wrote for Karen Carpenter. "If there was ever anything that came out of my heart straight to Karen I would say that that was it, and I was very proud of it for that." Richard Carpenter recalled that the song "became Karen's favorite Carpenters song". However, this album was also the first not to have Karen playing drums at all and top Los Angeles session drummer Jim Gordon played the drums on this album.
The album, despite its gold certification and a high UK chart placing, was a commercial disappointment in the US where its chart peak was outside the Top 30.The CD has been out of print since 2006 except in the Japanese market.
AllMusic Review by Bruce Eder
The formula behind the Carpenters' albums was starting to get fairly routine -- a hit single and an oldie or two (which sometimes was the single) surrounded by some well-produced soft pop/rock, driven by electric piano, strings, and a guitar solo or two cropping up. "There's a Kind of a Hush" and "Breaking Up Is Hard to Do" are the two most memorable tracks on this pleasant, well-sung, and well-played, but basically bland, album, A Kind of Hush. There are virtues here -- "You" has a good guitar solo by Tony Peluso, and the vocals on "Sandy" are radiant, but this record was where the real rot began to set intothe Carpenters' fortunes, in terms of remaining connected to rock. Instead of covering Leon Russell's or Carole King's contemporary material, they're doing songs like "Can't Smile Without You" -- the latter is very sweetly sung by Karen Carpenter, and gets a lyrical but spare arrangement from Richard Carpenter, but they needed something more credible to the under-30 audience (and especially material that, if not attractive to guys in that age range, at least wouldn't make them self-conscious about listening to it with their girlfriends) on this album, and it wasn't here. If you close your eyes, it's possible to imagine Captain & Tennille, not to mention Debby Boone, taking lessons from this release, although Karen's voice was still beyond comparison with any of them.
"As I have written elsewhere, I believe that the Carpenters’ explosive worldwide success in 1970 was too much, too soon for us; we were young, naïve and ultimately ill-equipped to handle properly all that was required of us. Karen, though 3 ½ years my junior, dealt with many career problems better than I, although some feel that these, combined with a perceived weight problem contributed to her developing anorexia nervosa. As a result of all of this, I inadvertently got myself addicted to prescription sleeping pills as early as 1975. As I did not take any of these during the day, I was able to function well for quite some time, but by 1976, and the making of “A Kind Of Hush” – and the two albums that followed – I now feel I was not at my best, and am not pleased with some of the material chosen, such as Goofus, and Breaking Up Is Hard To Do.
Three songs, however, do stand out for me: I Need To Be In Love with its soaring melody and melancholy John Bettis lyric; this became Karen’s favorite Carpenters song. One More Time by Lewis Anderson, a lovely combination of music and lyric, and Sandy, a lilting original that is perfect for Karen’s voice".