Joy Electric - Old Wives Tales

Monday 1st December 1997
Joy Electric - Old Wives Tales
Joy Electric - Old Wives Tales

STYLE: Dance/Electronic
RATING 7 7 7 7 7 7 7
LABEL: Tooth & Nail TND1065
RRP: £4.99

Reviewed by Jon Tulloch

'Old Wives Tales' comes very close to being a really great album. In style it is defiantly retro, remembering the glory days of '80s synthesiser pop with its layers upon layers of undisguised computerisation. The overall effect though is more akin to the dreaminess of the Pet Shop Boys than to the heavy grandeur of Ultravox. Lilting melodies jar with the clinical bleeps and pings of computers, creating a sense of weirdness to match lyrics clearly influenced by the romantic surrealism of the Beatles. Songs like "The Cobbler" and "Candycane Carriage" show that their writer, Ronnie Martin, has got a very special ability to shape a song into a series of patterns without losing its integrity. My only concern with this album is that with only Ronnie and his mixing desk appearing on it, it sounds a bit too much like a demo. It lacks the breadth of production needed to make the songs complete. It may be that this is the intended effect, but I cannot help feeling it does small justice to such great material.

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