Joel Samberg's "Pockets Full of Good Intentions" is a wonderfully insightful article that is part biography, part psychological profile, part fan appreciation, and it's so well-written, well-observed and thoroughly researched that I kept wishing it were longer. It's an excellent accompaniment to Randy Schmidt's biography of Karen Carpenter, and it's got some intriguing comments from many of the people who knew her and worked with her.
I hope Samberg uses this as the basis for a longer examination of Karen and her talent. I think it's high time she got the critical respect and attention she deserved. It's unfortunate that most people only think of the anorexia when they think of her, and the tragedy of her death seems to obscure what people should remember about her - that voice (which many people refer to as the Voice, respectfully capitalized), which defies description. Ghostly, moving, innocent, seductive, girlish, pure, world-weary, melancholy, motherly, warm, chilling - her voice was all of these things, often in the span of one or two notes. Samberg quotes a noted music historian as describing her voice as "otherworldly." I don't think that's just hyperbole - listening to her, you truly feel as if you're in the presence of something very special, something that's almost sacred.