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Karen Carpenter

Stephen Dalton, Uncut, August 2000

KAREN CARPENTER possesses such iconic value now — feminist totem, camp death-cult, Prozac Nation suffragette — it is increasingly difficult to assess her unique musical talents with objective hindsight. She was suburban noir personified, the American Dream in tragic meltdown, the original virgin suicide. But she also possessed one of the most instantly recognisable and exquisitely beautiful voices in pop, completely untrained yet achingly expressive, shimmering with surface warmth but glacially chilly beneath.

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