on June 21, 2008
at first i listened to the mp3 snippets on amazon and thought that the vocals were really bad. It is so easy to pick out the bad and miss the good.
the truth is "Otherly Opus" was a hard act to follow vocal-wise as it is Ronnie's most ambitious effort in that area to date.
That said, isnt every Joy E album a hard act to follow? Let's face it; this guy comes out with an album every 1.5 years and a new EP every 6 months. And for the frequency of releases, the work is always quality. Big bands with hollywood style album budgets who release every 2-3 years often fall short of the standard of quality that Ronnie puts out.
Short and simple, this album has fantastic melodies that tug at the emotions. The music is beautiful and the sounds, while totally Joy E, somehow sound like he has tapped into some new experimental ground, which is why I think this album is a good fusion of Joy E Experimentalism and classic Joy E.
The vocals are pretty stripped down, but I gotta say the synth production is possibly the best I have heard on any Joy E. Synth sounds = BIG!!!
And for $7.99, that is a STEAL.
No one and I mean, NO ONE, makes music like Joy Electric! There was, is, and will always be only ONE Joy Electric - No copycats, no imitations. Get this ALBUM NOW!
on May 28, 2008
First, to the avid Joy Electric enthusiast, this album is a delight. I'm not totally sold on the "raw" vocal approach (think of "Write Your Last Paragraph" from The Otherly Opus), but this is a great batch of songs regardless. Beautiful.
I used to think that sooner or later Martin was going to produce a commercially viable JE masterpiece, but the guy's just too far gone... out to sea. I mean that as a compliment, because he truly has cut his own path, and I don't think he's all that interested in commercial viability. Having digested this album, which really represents as much of an intersection of accessibility and the JE sound as anyone could expect, I'm realizing that this music has nothing in common with anything that's going on, anywhere. Nothing. That's a compliment, too... I'm grateful I can still buy music this creative, and it says a lot about Tooth & Nail as a label.
I hope I live long enough to see this artist appreciated.
on May 30, 2008
It's almost difficult to believe that Ronnie Martin's Joy Electric has been making innovative records for nearly 15 years. Ronnie's latest release "My Grandfather, the Cubist" finds him breaking new ground while maintaining his trademark synth-pop sound. While the music has a slight hint of earlier Joy-E works such as "Melody" or "Robot Rock", "Cubist" displays Ronnie Martin's talents pushing the envelope in a full-forward thrust.
As with his recent previous efforts, "Cubist" appears to be another concept album with each track's subject matter dealing with some sort of historic invention ranging from the telephone to the telescope and the Escher-sketch. Also, for the very first time, the music is presented in a near-continuous context with the tracks either segueing into each or being separated by the smallest gap of silence possible.
Musically, the album is full of Ronnie's trademark ear-cathcing melodies and inventive lyrics. Tracks such as "Victorian Intuition", "I Recall The Telephone Booth" and "Whether By Horse or Horseless" will leave a person humming long after the music has stopped. The epic title track with its opening "Prelude" and closing "Interlude" is the most progressive sounding piece on the album and ends the entire album on an astonishing note.
With "My Grandfather, The Cubist", Ronnie Martin has proven above and beyond that there is life after the "Legacy" album series which ended last year with "The Otherly Opus". This is an album full of fresh musical approaches with all the Joy Electric trademarks firmly in place. If anything, it definitely shows Ronnie reaching a new peak in his long-running musical innovations without any sign of slack.
Another Joy Electric Masterwork. Highly Recommended!!!
on December 9, 2012
I've always had a bit of a love-hate relationship with Joy E. Sometimes, the album is just beautiful and full of great work. Other times, I'm just not sure what I'm listening to, or why.
This was more of the latter. While the album is enjoyable, especially for fans of eclectic electric (which I count myself as one), this one was just a bit more difficult to digest.
I've only really had time to listen to it once, though, and as usual, I'm sure that with more listens it'll grow on me. If you don't like perfect-music (not perfect as in perfect, but perfect as in "without the human element"), you'll enjoy this.
on June 5, 2008
Ok, first let me stress the fact that I have been a serious Joy Electric fan for many years. I have respected Ronnie Martin as a minimalist in music and have even been in personal e-mail contact with him over the years. I have all of Ronnie Martin's cd's including side projects. I continue to purchase JE's music, but after listening to My Grandfather, the Cubist I am compelled to speak out. How can anyone call this music innovative? I am no longer impressed with his sound because IT ALL SOUNDS THE SAME and there is only so much you can do with old, outdated equipment. There is nothing new, original, or unique on this cd. But that is what I have come to expect. It's as if Ronnie creates music strictly for himself and is living in some distorted world of his own. As with most other JE cd's this new one makes no sense and has song titles and subjects that have no relevance to everyday life. I don't say that as a compliment whatsover. I continue to be so disappointed with his solo work so why do I purchase his music still you may ask? Because I keep hoping that one day Ronnie will create and produce the same calibur of songs as Christian Songs, the best JE CD by far in my oppinion. There is nothing "Christian" about this new cd. What is ironic is that Ronnie's side projects are soooo much better. When he writes with or for others he is so much better. In conclusion, I cannot recommend this CD unless you are a true JE fan as I have been for many years and want to have another cd full of the same sound as all the others. If I had the means and musical equipment I could crank out boring, pointless songs like this too. It does not take someone with talent to produce music of this simplistic quality. I really question what happened to Ronnie's artistic integrity. If you want an excellent JE CD start with Christian Songs. That gets 6 stars out of 5 in my book. :) Anyway, that is my oppinion which I felt the need to express! I have kept it bottled up inside for too long!