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Melody
Format: MP3 MusicChange
Price:$11.49
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on February 12, 1999
Format: Audio CD
The first three songs are excellent and infectious pop. Unfortunately after that, most of the tunes take on a monotonous I, IV, & V chord structure. I found myself aching for a 'minor' to be thrown in to clear my palet. If more songs on "Melody" were as interesting as the first three, I'd give this album 5-stars. Three-songs, three-stars.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 12, 1999
Format: Audio CD
joy electric is sooo . . . different! completely original. the strangely human vocals combined with the otherworldly synths create a totally detached yet somehow comforting sound. i love techno muzik, but joy electric's songs go deeper than say those of prodigy or heaven 17.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 19, 2009
Format: Audio CD
The bloops and beeps are jarring at first. Time always has the last judgement, though, and the more you listen the more perfect the album becomes. You will play air synthesizer to everyone of those bleeps and purrs and whistles after awhile. After years of listening, I wouldn't change one of them.
This album changed the way I hear music--the way Loveless might be be for many others (I love that record, too). The melody is sacred. Yet the synthesizers inhabit the music and don't just dress it up. There's a purity to the electronic instruments, an honor given them that's rare--In old video game music it was necessity that produced its basicness; Ronnie chooses it because its pure to him, its organic, actually, its the magic of music in its essence and all the limitations aren't limitations at all. So: Pop music done with tools the world threw away, and done earnestly. Songs meant to be sung. Those electric humming chords...It all leads me into special worlds of feeling that I still havent found in any other music.
Ronnie has strangely started to sound more like his influences as time's gone by. But this is his journeyman's masterpiece, this is before he felt every song on an album had to sound the same, before he took out the drum machines et al, when he knew just enough but not too much. Here the burgeoning young purist is still holding hands with the child at play--anarchic, untutored, wide-eyed and without bias. In this world without musical rules everything joins together into a glorious whole symphony of pitter-pattering, melancholic, joyful, hopeful pop bliss. I hate hate hate music writing but this album will do it to me every time. It's beyond words. And I usually hate long discs. This one takes me all the way through everytime.
Bee Hoping? In Love In Midsummer? How could I live without these songs?
Ronnie's kinda the George MacDonald (The Golden Key) of pop music. The lyrics are colored pictures. The feeling is other worlds, the world of childhood and believing. Some people hate that. Perhaps especially in a Christian music scene which can get in love with struggle. But life isn't just about struggle. Or thwarted desire, despite pop music's enduring philosophy. It's also about joy and the beautiful...and Why shouldn't someone make records like that? Do we interrupt a child's glee and correct him? No, we're the false ones if we can't believe and be as open and expressive. It probably says alot about our culture that we might find an album we perceive as simply joyous, false.
This album is not simple. Musically or emotionally. A tone poem (In Love In Midsummer), subtle rhythmic shifts, one rocker, every song layered like a cake. Dark truth, longing, nostalgia, transcendence, loss of hope, love, eternity & Dream.
Chord changes? Simple? The music hypnotizes me and I dont even hear chords. Its not the kind of music you think about the chord changes in. Its immediate that way. They purr right into you.
Its not christian music. Its not for christians. Its for Believers. D'ya know what I mean?
Its not Erasure, Depeche Mode, New Order. People forget to say that. He plays synths. He goes into the music, inhabits it, and after all is done you can (still) hear it on the record. Which makes me doubt Ronnie Martin exists outside of this world he's created. They are instruments instead of tools. They come from another world, these little animal beings, and they're allowed to have personalities. They twirl and twit, shimmer and moan a bit. They challenge you. They challenge you to keep listening until the medicine proves its all candy. (Be patient, its making you better.) 19th century candy, like real licorice & regal chocolate when all the richness & substance was left in.
Oh, and The Dark Ages. wow. One for the Ages, for sure.
This is rock music, if the Heart re-made it in its image. And it is Good.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 13, 2009
Format: Audio CD
Joy Electric's "Melody" was, in its day, and perhaps even still, sometimes criticized for being too cheezy and too wimpy. Admittedly, the songs on this album are constructed out of dream-like analog whirrs and blips. The sounds are like tufts of electonic cotton candy. Upon initially hearing it, one might easily dismiss it as cheezy synth-pop remniscent of sounds from early Nintendo games built into syrupy love songs.

Such a critique would, however, miss the mark on this album. Think of this album as an electronic Smiths album in that the sound may be poppy, cheery, even cheezy, but the lyrics depict a world of brutal honesty and vulnerability that sharply contrasts the bubble-gum feel of the music. It's because of this that you then have to reexamine the music itself.

What once appeared to be simple Disney parade bleeps and whirrs for the sake of nostalgia for all things analog and the indie geek-chic idea where cheezy equals cool, the songs' contruction of seemingly harmless and cutesy individual sounds now appear to build a tightly interwoven fabric of sound that is extremely delicate, and even vulernable. The songs feel like they might crumble in your hands if you're too rough with them--and this matches the lyrical content: songs of love, lonliness, self-doubt, quests for identity, fear of rejection and loss. Ronnie Martin's soft, innocent vocals are every bit as naked and vulnerable as the music and the lyrics. This is an album that tears away the walls of defense that we all build up, though Martin occassionally reels back and throws out swirls of guitar feedback to not only reveal some frustration, but to build a bit of that wall again in self-defense--the music and the lyrics becoming masked in the noise. But in the end, the noise disappears, leaving one of the most hauntingly honest and brave records that I know. Few artists, with perhaps the exception of some works by Nine Inch Nails and My Dad Is Dead, put themselves out there so openly--and even when these guys do it, it still lacks the total vulnerability that Martin displays.

Ultimately, this album is a must have, but it requires an open mind to really appreciate its true beauty. The mix of melancholy and optimism is inspiring, and this album was in heavy rotation when I was battling some tough times in life, because it reflected the stripped-down version of my hopes, dreams, fears, and failures in my life that I had come to see in myself.

I can't speak as much for his later albums, as they seemed to change. "Five Stars for Failure" was lyrically and musically more consistently dark, moving slightly away from the absolute honesty and vulnerablity of "Melody." "We Are the Music Makers" seemed to depart lyrically from the brutally honest reflections. Perhaps the demons that haunted Martin had left him. If so, that's wonderful, but artistically, it left something to be desired, and I then fell out of what he's been doing since.

In the end, "Melody" is a true gem, and an album that works absolutely brilliantly from beginning to end--an album not to be ignored.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on August 7, 1998
Format: Audio CD
I highly reccommend you give his music a try. This album- his first Joy Electric consists of pretty pop ballads and love songs. Totally synthesizer, but really original.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on September 26, 2001
Format: Audio CD
This debut album is just like heaven. I totally recommend
this cd to everyone in the whole entire world. It contains
songs of sheer delight and pure bliss. The musical melodies
combined with Ronnie's sweet voice bring happiness to anyone
listening. Please I encourage you to get this for people
of all ages and even children.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 23, 1998
Format: Audio CD
Ronnie Martin, frontman for Joy Electric, is about the most talented musician I have ever met. This album, his first under the name Joy Electric, is a showcase of what good pop music should sound like. Highly recommended if you are into techno, synth-pop, or experimental pop music.
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on August 3, 2006
Format: Audio CD
For those of you who say J.E. is totally different and original obviously didn't grow up in the 80's. If you had, you'd have been exposed on a deeper level to wonderful bands such as OMD, Camouflage, Fad Gadget, Kraftwerk, Depeche Mode, Erasure and New Order, all of which Joy Electric draws influences from. As far as modern synth rock goes, most of it doesn't hit the mark with me. Erasure has done some fine work as of recent, especially with Nightbird, and Depeche Mode's Playing the Angel isn't bad, but there are thousands of other bands coming out of the woodwork claiming to be synth pop that are just horrible. There are two ends of the synth rock spectrum over-populated by garbage: On one end, you have the wussy, Savage Garden-esque bands like Neuropa and Intuition, and on the other, overly mechanical and robotically cold bands like Assemblage 23 and Covenant. There seems to be little in the middle. That's where Joy Electric comes in. I guarantee no matter what type of synth music you're into, Joy Electric has something for you. I've always been a huge fan of melodies, and Melody has them in bundles. This is probably my favorite Joy Electric album aside from Robot Rock and Christiansongs. Everything works so very well together on this album from Martin's breathy vocals, to the blatantly Nintendo-like melodies and the fairytale lyrics. This is very wholesome music, after all Martin is a Christian.(finally, a Christian band that doesn't suck!!) If you have the Art and Craft of Popular Music, and are interested in hearing more older J.E., this is the album to have. Though it is out of print and fairly difficult to come by, it is well worth the money. They should have included songs like The Girl From Rosewood Lane, The Melody Book, The Electric Joy Toy Company and Buttercup Fairy Jamboree on the Art and Craft double disc, those are some of Joy Elec's best songs ever. If you love slow, melancholy synth drenched songs about love and fairytales, and played a ton of Nintendo as a kid, get this album!
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on March 21, 2014
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
So I've been looking for this and other albums to add to my collection, I'm a huge fan of this music and I had a hard time finding these albums on other sites and places. Anyone who knows about this artist will know that some of these albums are out of print, thus very difficult to find. I found them here at a low price, some used but in great condition. My kids love it too. With this album my collection is almost done! 5 stars for great product, quick shipment and great condition. Will recommend buying from seller.
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on April 15, 1999
Format: Audio CD
Ronnie Martin takes Christian music to a whole new level. He makes it listenable. His analog synths are old, but he uses them to make something very new that gives a person chills. His original sounding vocals combined with his synths and talent make him the greatest musician to date. Because it is christian music, he doesn't get the recognition deserved. on melody, everysong has a different feel to it, and each makes a person feel it. they are very easy to relate to. after listening to this album, you'll have to own every je album.
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