The Carpenters' final album, Made in America, released after their two-year break from work, a period in which Karen Carpenter attempted a solo album and when Richard was incapacitated due to a drug problem, is very much a comeback effort, with a fair amount of energy on most of it, newly radiant arrangements ("The Wedding Song," etc.), one cute oldie cover ("Beechwood 4-5789," which was made into a video), and the best new songs they'd had since the mid-'70s ("Those Good Old Dreams," "Touch Me When We're Dancing"). The latter song, in particular, marked a breakthrough to a new sound and a new sensuality in Karen's image as a singer, and could have led to a new beginning for all concerned, and the album as a whole was more energetic and memorable than anything they'd done since A Song for You. Unfortunately, the singer was already suffering from worsening effects of the psychological disorder that would kill her less than two years after the release of this album -- "The Wedding Song," in particular, seems now like an unintentionally poignant bookend on the other end of her life and career from "We've Only Just Begun."
AllMusic Review by Bruce Eder