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

NOVASTAR "Novastar"
(2000, WEA, 39842 29405 2)

Songs (click on the -icons for a small audio-sample)
1. Wrong
2. Smooth Flavours
3. Caramia
4. Moreau
5. The Best is Yet to Come
6. Millersan
7. Carelessly Dating
8. E
9. Do Run
10. Lost & Blown Away

Written by Joost Zweegers
Produced by Wouter van Belle

Recorded at Motormusic, Koningshooikt, and Vitanova, Antwerpen.
Mix : John Luongo
Design : [ s i g n *]
Photo's : Guy Kokken


My opinion

"Where did We Go Wrong?", asks Joost Zweegers on the first song of his title-less debut cd, a record that has been standing proudly at the top of the album charts here in Belgium for the last 5 weeks or so. The answer as to himself is as simple as it is astonishing : nowhere did he go wrong. Because if he wandered off at some point in between the rock-rally victory of 4 years ago and the release, it has lead to the songs & sounds that are on this cd and that somehow makes it all worthwile.
Negative aspects? Hard to find, but an evil mind can always spot some : some songs are somewhat overdrenched in sweetness ("Caramia"), a few times the falsetto - a powerful weapon that sets him apart from other singers - de-powers a song instead of being the emotional summit of it (e.g. "Smooth Flavours", up till the refrain a song with a drive only matched by the best Crowded House songs, after that a used tissue), there are simply not enough songs on it (where's the Police cover of "Can't stand losing you"), and most of all there is the fact that the most songs on "novastar" stand in comparison to "Wrong" just as Joe Dalton is related in height to his brother Averell Dalton (or as Averell Dalton is related in brainsize to his brother Joe Dalton). That last remark isn't even meant as a degrading comment on the quality of these other songs (exceptions "Do Run" and "Moreau"), it is just that "Wrong" is to be situated at the lonely heights where only the most perfect of popsongs reside. The best of the rest are of course that other single "The best is yet to come" and surely also "Millersan", "Carelessly Dating" and "Lost & Blown Away".
On the basis of this cd, Novastar deserves an international career like say Michael Penn ("No Myth" was an equally perfect song), Tim Finn, Luka Bloom or such. A dominance of the music bizz, as he is showing in our country now, is probably not going to happen.
It wasn't easy, that much you've got to admit to me, to give this much critical remarks about a cd that is just about as good as a cd can get. But all viciousness aside, the message is really crystal clear : if, if, you don't have this cd yet ... buy it. If it's already in your player, just put it one one more time ... and enjoy .. enjoy the power of almost perfect popmusic.

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

- T.C. in Mad (Le Soir) : "Ce premier album est une réussite totale. Sa voix ... se met au service de chansons pop fortes et accrocheuses. Un peu comme Jasper d'Arid, Joost séduit immédiatemment par ses capacités vocales alors que son talent d'écriture est indéniable. Wouter Van Belle, à la production, l'a aidé à ficeler un disque somptueux, sauvage et terriblement mélodieux. Sacré coup de coeur..."
- MVS in Humo : "Brute pech voor wie rond deze tijd van het jaar een nieuw plaatje meende te moeten leggen ... We kunnen ons namelijk niet herinneren hoe lang het geleden is dat we nog eens een songwriter onvervaard, borst en kin vooruit, voor de tijdloze en klassieke plaat hoorden gaan en dat hij er nog met verve in slaagt ook. En wellicht nog langer geleden is het dat wij nog eens een plaatje hoorden dat, als een afwisselend withete en ijskoude wind, dwars door je ziel blaast en - al is het maar heel even - allerlei vitaals raakt.".
- Dave Peters in Uptomusic : "De single 'Wrong' is een emo-kraker van formaat die het haar op elk lichaamsdeel rechtop zet. Sterke zang, catchy gitaren en een refrein dat eindeloos blijft nazinderen in de hersenpan. Ook 'The Best Is Yet To Come' bekoort ons, zij het op iets bescheidenere wijze. 'Novastar' is in z'n totaliteit een eenzame hartenfabriek die in vijf ploegen tranen van ontroering uit uw kijkers blijft sleuren. ..."
- Dirk Steenhaut in Metro (De Morgen) : "Pure pop met uitgekiende instrumentaties, pakkende melodieën en een hoog emotionaliteitsgehalte. Zweegers blinkt uit als zanger én als songwriter, maar brengt af en toe iets teveel versieringen aan."
- Svs in Rif-Raf : "Joost Zweegers, liedjessmid, overhandigt deze ambachtelijk gemaakte debuutplaat die op het eerste gehoor solide en oerdegelijk klinkt. Novastar speelt mooie liedjes, zo simpel is het, zo stupide is de conclusie. ... Dit is pop uit een tijd waar dat genre nog niet werd vereenzelvigd met boysbands of Zillion-house."

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 April 11, 2000, but nothing guarantees they still are the same when you read this).

Price of the CD
Shipping + other expenses
Direct Link
839 Bef.
861 Bef.
762 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.


More about this group :

-, the official site.
- attempt at a Novastar bio in the Belgian Pop & Rock Archives
- management : Pascal van de Velde bij Make-It-Happen
- poging tot ontcijfering van de teksten van de CD



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