My favorite Oldies Pop band, The Carpenters, have delivered some of the most mind blowing songs I have ever heard of. Be it “Yesterday Once More“, “Every Sha La La”, “Only Yesterday“, “Superstar“, etc. etc. All songs sound so beautiful to the ear. Soothing melodies by Richard Carpenter, beautiful vocals by Karen Carpenter: These were two siblings who created magic. In an era where long hair, Grunge Rock and scream-on-top-of-your-voice was in great demand, The Carpenter’s produced a soft musical style, and made them one of the best selling artists of all time. Funny isn’t it? Anyways, three of their songs which are my personal favorites are “Every Sha La La”, “Only Yesterday” and “Please Mr. Postman” (Which I’ll be reviewing today). So, let’s get to it!
History: “Please Mr. Postman” is actually a cover version by The Carpenters (The original song was produced by The Marvelettes). Ironically, this cover version was MUCH, MUCH better than the original one. It also made more than the original song. “Please Mr. Postman” was released as a single in 1974, and did wonders all over the world. It peaked at Number 1 on The Australian Kent Music Report, Canadian Singles Chart, Oricon International Singles Chart, U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and U.S. Billboard Easy Listening (Pretty awesome, huh?) and Number 2 on the UK Singles Chart (No surprises here). There is only one version (Okay, there are many COVER versions) of the song, viz. the 2 Minutes 48 Seconds Studio Version.
What it tries to convey to us: The song’s concept is damn easy. No complex or dual meanings here. It is simply about two lovers, wherein the boyfriend lives far away from the girlfriend; and the only means of communication between them is by writing letters to each other. The girlfriend always gets nervous when the boyfriend’s letter doesn’t reach her in time. The song describes such an incident. But, being the gentleman he always is, the postman always tries to cheer her up. Simple, but extremely charismatic lyrics.
Review: Previously, I was able to start the review without any hesitation. But this song has got me STONED. I can’t think of any way to start the song, because, well; the song can’t be reviewed or rated. It’s a cut above ‘Extraordinary’. Anyways, here goes.. The drums commence as soon as the song starts, and Karen Carpenter starts her BEAUTIFUL vocals at 00:01. Undoubtedly, she had THE best female voice in the entire music industry. The entire rhythm of the song settles in at 00:08. The background vocals are also very beautiful. An awesome fact about the song (Which I have come to notice) is that the chorus of the song is sung in majority by the background vocalists, and Karen Carpenters chips in sometimes. But that transition is what makes the song so beautiful. It’s between an Opera song and a Pop song. The same condition applies in the pre-verse bridge. The actual first stanza begins at 00:22. All throughout the song, you can’t help but admire Karen Carpenter’s gorgeous voice. The background beats are steady and music is very peppy. You can hear the xylophone chime in in-between the verses. It makes the sound of a bell (Listen carefully from 00:36- 00:41). The second chorus will start at 00:50, just as peppy as the first. The tempo of the song is extremely upbeat, even though the theme of the song is sad and gloomy. It’s one of those things music artists are so good at; using Antithesis in their songs. Anyways, getting back to the song, the bridge starts at 01:05. It consists of the background vocals (Utterly astounding), the drums and trumpet, which is the perfect instrument to play in the bridge, because it is from here that the postman cheers her up. The trumpet adds a shade of cheerfulness to the song. The second stanza starts at 01:20, the chorus starting immediately after it. The “Wait a minute, wait a minute” bridge starts at 01:48, and that too adds a lot of color to the song. The vocals end with “Come on deliver the letter, the sooner the better” and then the instrumentals and the background vocals (“Ooh’s” and “Aah’s”) take over. The ending of the song has a very nice touch to it. Piano, drums, trumpet, all mixed together to weave the perfect ending. The song slowly fades out at 02:33.
Rating: This is a song, rather a band straight from Heaven. Giving it anything below 10 would be a dishonor by my side. Hence, the 10/10! Perfect scores everywhere. Vocals, check. Instrumentals, check! Go and listen to this one, guys!
Lyrics for “Please Mr. Postman” : http://artists.letssingit.com/carpenters-lyrics-please-mr-postman-w5j1wfs
Download link for “Please Mr. Postman” : http://www.yoojaa.com/music/youchaixiansheng.mp3
(Right click on link, click “Save As”)