Carpenters

Sweet Sweet Smile

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Not you typical Carpenters collection, Sweet Sweet Smile collects not the duo's most recognized songs, like "Superstar," but rather some less remembered songs. The majority here come from four albums -- Close to You (1970), A Kind of Hush (1976), Passage (1977), and Made in America (1981) -- and though these selections generally aren't perhaps what you'd consider to be some of the Carpenters' best moments, they're still quite impressive songs nonetheless. Some of the more recognized songs here include the duo's version of "Ticket to Ride," the classic ballad "I Just Fall in Love Again," and the latter-day gem "Because We Are in Love (The Wedding Song)." The fact that this compilation avoids songs like "Rainy Days and Mondays" is what makes it such a fun listen -- it's quite unpredictable, particularly for someone not overly familiar with the Carpenters. But, again, everything here is of high quality, so it's nice that this collection isn't random or trivial in its inclusions, even if it is unpredictable. You're better off starting with a more definitive best-of like Singles (1969-1981), but Sweet Sweet Smile is a good place to look next, once you've heard all the duo's bigger hits and want to dig a little deeper.

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