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| Home > Music Reviews > Joy Electric - CHRISTIANsongs >

Joy Electric

Rating: 5


I have liked some Joy Electric songs in the past, but this album blows me away. Lyrically, it is very up-front and honest about the band's faith. They have pinned their hearts on their sleeves for all the world to see, but have refused to bow down at the altar of cheesy, clich�-ridden mediocrity.

Musically, Joy Electric is still keeping it real with their unique brand of synth-pop.*** (Don't call it techno if you want to stay on Ronnie Martin's good side.) This album continues Joy E's legacy of musical integrity using "analogue synthesizers and vocals only, no computers, no samplers, no drum machines, no traditional instruments, and no additional musicians." In today's digital revolution, Joy Electric is delightfully anachronistic.

If you have never heard them before, you are in for a treat. The best way I can describe them is this: think about all of the cool music and sounds on the old Atari game system. (I'm dating myself here, but no game system can match the old Atari for sheer fun and playability.) Then spin the Atari sounds with the skill of a synth virtuoso and add a fast moving, danceable beat, and you're beginning to get a feel for the uniqueness of Joy E's sound.

This album is a refreshing change from the countless bands that do their best not to be associated with the author of our salvation. CHRISTIANsongs from start to finish is dedicated to this statement, "joy electric confesses that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and savior of the world."

There are no filler songs on this CD, making it hard to know which songs not to comment on. I certainly couldn't leave out "children of the Lord." It is a song that should fire up any Christian who is willing to give his life to the abandoned pursuit of Jesus. It is also one of the most danceable songs on the album.

The lyrical depth of this album continues on "lift up your hearts." It is an indictment of the Christian music scene and the bands that take advantage of it:

the lackluster play hide and seek
the faithful share the truth of Christianity
why don't you see
are they ashamed to bear the name
when all the while they fool themselves
with fake acclaim they never get

"true harmony" is another lyrically noteworthy song. I think it would make a good theme song if someone made a movie about the Tribulation. Its fast driving beat and triumphant melody, when married to the lyrics, make for a truly inspirational song. What I like about Joy Electric melodies, and this one in particular, is that they actually go somewhere! They convey an awesome sense of movement to accompany their audio pictures.

"synthesized i want you synthesized" is a song praising God for His creation and for the marvelous re-creation of His people as He sanctifies them. This song has memorable lines like,

you're the multiplier of equations
you design the math of pin point parts
time and age are tools of your experiments
you affect the course of electrons
you build the links to my heart.

Finally, for the fans of Joy Electric's playful explorations of fantasy and fairy tales, we have "the magic of." (Be sure and read the liner notes on this song.) This song shows the joy of a band that refuses to grow up and join the boring, unimaginative world of most grownups.

Overall, this album masterfully expresses the band's creative spirit as musicians. In CHRISTIANsongs, JoyE is celebrating the creativity that comes from being made in the image of God. And this creativity makes this album truly superior to most Christian music, regardless of genre.

*** (Editor's Note: Kimberly ABHORS the phrase "keeping it real," but James insisted that it stay in the review. If you agree with her, that this phrase is the absolute ickiest of all phrases known to man, e-mail James and tell him to stop using it!)

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