Karaoke favourites the Carpenters joined their record company 40 years ago; 40/40 celebrates the occasion with a double disc of 40 memorable tracks. The songs are mostly soft pop tunes which, in the hands of another artist, might make for non-descript background music. But Karen Carpenter's pure voice, and her brother Richard's innovative production skills, lift the tracks into the category of pop classics. The album opens rather appropriately with Yesterday Once More. Karen Carpenter's voice is particularly strong in the lower registers, bringing to this, and many of their ballads, a beautiful melancholy tone that enhances the bittersweet lyrics. The duo was famous for their slightly cheesy pop, with Top of the World perhaps being the prime example. But in their hands, what could have been just an irritating jingle becomes a positive ode to the one who makes you happy. The Carpenters were extremely creative when tackling other artists' songs. Examples include The Beatles' Ticket to Ride, Sesame Street classic Sing and the bizarre but brilliant Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft. It's a must-buy for those who care about the evolution of pop music - and for fans of a good tune.