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5 Stars for Originality!
on December 4, 2003
Whatever your feelings about Joy Electric, this is probably the most unique Christmas album to be released this season. Using "synthesizers and vocals only", Ronnie Martin has put together a charming and unusual collection of holiday tunes which fans of the "band" will certainly enjoy. Those who are new to Joy Electric would be advised to seek out the compilation titled "The Art and Craft of Popular Music" for a proper introduction.
Consisting of 9 standard-type Christmas songs/carols and one original - "Lolipop Parade (On Christmas Morn)", which originally appeared on the "Happy Christmas, Vol. II" collection, Martin covers Buryl Ives ("Holly Jolly Christmas")and a host of others with his selection of seasonal fare. Martin's rather breathy, reedy vocal style may be an acquired taste for some, but it seems to work well on most of these familiar tunes.
I did find it odd that a Christian artist such as Martin would record 80% secular songs - but since Joy Electric have more than just a Christian fan base, this move is not altogether surprising.
Fans of Joy Electric won't be disapointed with this, but I doubt it will gain the band any new fans. It's pretty rare that a Christian Alternative band gets to release a Christmas album, so let's just be thankful it's out now and enjoy it.