Joy Electric has created a musical world unto itself.  Anchored by lead vocalist, Ronnie Martin, and his love for Christ and dark romanticism, the trio inhabits a fanciful, poetic niche that is unique even among latter-day synth-pop acts.  Sometimes misunderstood, Joy Electric has still amassed enthusiastic fans and persevered long enough to merit this double-CD box set, The Art and Craft of Popular Music: 1994-2002. 

As with brothers in synth-based pop such as Erasure and The Pet Shop Boys, Joy Electric uses technology—much of it retooled or devised by Martin—in service of songs with more hooks than a tackle box.  Instead of disco nightlife and heartbreak, Martin’s airy, yearning falsetto sings of candy, flowers, robots and other metaphors for relating to his Lord.

Popular Music comes with a booklet loaded with pictures and reminiscences by Martin, but short on information about the set’s 34 tracks.  Nevertheless, as an introduction and summation of one of the most original bands in Christian music, this Art and Craft serves its purpose well.

Used by permission.  CCM Magazine © 2002