Madstock
Candyflip (Atlantic Records)

By David DewBerry

This is the most pleasant new pop music that I've heard in a long while. Candyflip is comprised of vocalist Danny Spencer and keyboard whiz Ric Peet. Together they have an infectious ethereally innocent sound that really put me at ease.

Spencer's vocals are in a groove that meshes well with the work of Peet. Both men are from Stoke-on-Trent, England, where they met in 1986 while working to be recording engineers, at school. Peet says, "I was into the Pet Shop Boys and Euro Disco and one day this crazy guy kept going on about "house music." We became good mates and our musical tastes blended to become what was the beginning of Candyflip."

Candyflip became popular, last year in England, with a cover version of the Beatles piece "Strawberry Fields," which is included on the Madstock album. It has no vestiges of the Beatles sound, but rather, a distinctive '90s aura that permeates their original tunes as well.

Spencer said, "Doing a cover version has given us a lift into the pop arena, but we're back at the starting block until we prove our worth as writers. We've got our own songs and, from now on, people will judge us as us." Of the ten on this album, only two are not originals.

"Love Is Life" has a great message of caring for humankind without overt religious overtones that often accompany such sentiment. This is a sort of prescription for love that has as many refills as necessary without having to ask the doctor for more.

My favorite is "Wonderland," which has a fun salute to Erik Satie in the tag with part of Gymnopedie No. 3. The lyric consists of a journey to understanding in matters of love.

I think you'll enjoy this journey through the land of love via Candyflip.