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link to the cd shop that had the best prize at the time of writing this reviewCD OF THE WEEK (September 2000) :

(2000, Oyster Records, OYS 020-2)

Songs (Click the -icons for some small realaudio-samples)

1. Dud, Dud, Dud
2. Kicking
3. A Head in the Clouds
4. Mocking Town
5. The Last Page
6. Astronauts & Acrobats
7. I'm All I've Got
8. Let's Look Around
9. Don't
10. Deaf and Blind
11. Crawling Dog
12. Dud, Dud Too

Songs : Fred Maenhout
Arrangements : Staf Verbeeck
Published by Team 4 Action

Musicians :
- Fred Maenhout : vocals, guitars
- Staf Verbeeck : keyboards, piano's, programming.
Guests :
- Laurens Leurs : backing vocals
- Neeka (ilse Govaerts) : backing vocals
- Tjenne Berghmans : guitars
- Frank Coonen, Tom De Wulf, Fernand Buyls : drums
- Thierry Goffeau : bass

Production : Fred & Staf
Recorded at "different locations and studio's somewhere between 1996 and 1998"

Cover painting : Chantal Talbot.
Sleeve : Michel Vanherwegen


My opinion

Squeeze, Happy Mondays, Nits, Feelies, Nits, Crowded House ... is the barrel of examples from which the duo Fred Maenhout (in a former life a member of the Belgian bands The Office and the Candy Dates, later went to live in England and then came back to his home turf) and Staf Verbeeck (another former Candy Dates, but with a greater reputation as the producer/sound technician of bands such as Metal Molly ...) found their sound on "Vertival Divine".
Apparently, it was a rather hard-fought labour of love, as most of the songs on the album were recorded in the period 1996-1998. After that, they were released on an obscure Japanese label, and now made available for everybody and reworked as "Vertical Divine" in June 2000. Although, avalailable is perhaps not such a good term for this CD, as the record company Oyster Records went broke only weeks after the release (other victims include Neeka, The Romans, The Romans, and good old Tom Robinson) making you'll have to look around a bit to still find a copy. But if you were to succeed in getting one, you'd probably not regret it.
The result of this calvary / quest are 11 fine popsongs (with an extra Werner Pensaert-remix of one of these 11 on top). The vocals are of great quality, the arrangements nice 'n light and with the right feeling. In short: easy to digest. The flipside of that medal is that some songs seem to lack a bit saltl. This CD misses a cherry on the cake, a "where did we go wrong". None of the 11 songs is a disaster, but there is no hi-flyer among them either, no melody that you can't get out of your head once you heard four bars. The only ones that come close to that goal are "Crawling Dog", "Astronauts & Acrobats" or a few moments of the very beautiful and Beatles-esque "Don't".

And your opinion?
Did I get it all wrong, or was I spot-on ? Do you want to share your opinion about this cd ? Send it in, and I'll put it up here !

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This Album in the Press

- 6bears : "Résultat de l'aparté, un album riche comme pas deux et pop par excellence. Comme quoi, il n'y a pas qu'en Angleterre où le genre est roi. Un premier album qui on l'espère pour les amateurs du genre ne sera pas qu'un unique coup d'essais. On les attend au tournant, alors!".
- Jempi Samyn in Stage : "... 11 netjes afgewerkte songs. Freds stem roept vaak herinneringen op aan die van wijlen John Lennon waardoor de meeste songs onvermijdelijk een Beatles-sfeertje bevatten ... Door de inbreng van een flinke dosis krachtig gespeelde gitaarriffs en strakke ritmes, bevatten de songs op deze cd de nodige dynamiek de ze bijzonder geschikt maakt voor fuiven en feestjes."
- J&BD in Mofo : "malgré la présence d'arrangements technologiques, "Vertical Divine" épouse un profil contagieux, hyper mélodique, parfois post new wave, hérité en ligne droite de Squeeze. Même les voix sont aussi soignées. Et ça, c'est une référence!"

Did you see a good (or bad) review of this album ? Tell me about it !


Where to buy this CD ?

You can order this CD from a number of locations (prices researched on September 3, 2000, but nothing guarantees they still are the same when you read this).

Price of the CD
Shipping + other expenses
Direct Link
719 Bef.
682 Bef.
769 Bef.

The lowest price is in yellow, the highest in red. This price comparison doesn't take things into account like deduction of shipping expenses when ordering more than 1 cd, bonus points, differences in guarantees ... Shipping prices are those for customers in Belgium.

Have you seen this record elsewhere on the net, do you own an online-CD-shop with Belgian products in it, or if there's something wrong with my calculations : let me know.


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- website : (record firm is no longer)


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