It had been eight years since her last studio album when Carole King released Love Makes The World on September 21, 2001. The album was then reissued in 2007 as a Deluxe Edition with bonus tracks and accompanying videos.
King was in fine form for her first album of the 21st century. Her voice sounded better than it had in a number of years plus her phrasing was some of the best of her career.
She used a variety of co-writers with some of the songs being written by up to four people. She only wrote two of the tracks herself, but in spite of that the material fits together well. She seemed more focused here than on many of her post-classic-period releases in songs for the most part dealing with relationships, both good and bad. I would have preferred a little less synthesizer and drum programming but overall it was a very good modern work.
The album features two outstanding tracks surrounded by a number of very good ones. “Monday Without You” was co-written by King but originally recorded in 1997 by Carnie, Wendy, and Brian Wilson for their album, The Wilsons. King makes it into a ringing rock anthem with a building, memorable chorus. The other stellar track is the old Goffin/King tune, “Oh No, Not My Baby,” which was written back in 1964. At first it seemed like an odd choice as it had appeared on her 1980 album, Pearls: Songs of Goffin And King. Using a piano and acoustic bass as its foundation, she modernized the song by changing the tempo and providing a more of a soulful vocal.
A number of other well-crafted tracks also inhabit the album. “The Reason,” originally recorded by Celine Dion for her Let’s Talk About Love album (for which King even provided the background vocals) is rendered here as a slow ballad that builds to a rocking conclusion. Dion returns the favor by providing the background vocals. The title track and “You Can Do Anything” are both upbeat, joyous tunes and “An Uncommon Love,” with help from k.d. lang is also worth a listen.
Love Makes The World is a well-thought-out and produced album, and with its memorable melodies and lyrics it stands as one of King’s better latter-day releases.
Article first published as Music Review: Carole King – Love Makes The World on Blogcritics.