Joy Electric The Art and Craft of Popular Music 1994-2002

Eight years may not seem like enough time to justify releasing a two-disc retrospective, but for Ronnie Martin, it seems ideal. Creating music as Joy Electric is an easy thing for Martin, for The Art and Craft of Popular Music 1994-2002 is completely stuffed full of old and brand new material. The electro pop sound should fit in nicely with the popularity of the "electro-clash" scene, but what makes acts like Fischerspooner and Soviet so attractive is absent from the majority of this collection. Martin focuses on themes like love and, most importantly, his Christianity, but the treatment of such issues is almost invalidated, as songs like "Mistletoe and Molasses" and "Come In, Brother" sound more like Savage Garden than anything credible. With the exception of an impressive remix of "We Are Rock," by The Faint, most of The Art and Craft of Popular Music... is only material that the avid Joy Electric fan would be dying to hear. (BEC)