His affection for cool synth soundscapes enriched by a love of nature and a strong Catholic mysticism, John Foxx has always been a man of more depth than the new romantics he once inspired. Fortunately, the many facets of Foxx‘s complex persona get a fair representation on Modern Art, the second retrospective of his long but interrupted career and a superior collection to the previous Assembly. The remastered album manages to hit most of the essential highlights, making it a fine introduction, yet won’t be superfluous to more dedicated fans thanks to a handful of sought-after offerings from throughout Foxx‘s two decades as a solo artist after leaving Ultravox. The former group of listeners will find the one-two punch of “Underpass” and “No-One’s Driving,” off Foxx‘s first album, Metamatic, a revelation, as both songs take Kraftwerk‘s chilly precision to even colder, more alienated extremes. From there, a slight warming trend is audible, as real instruments began to support the singer’ s stylish, Bowie-influenced romanticism: his finest single, the sweeping “Europe After the Rain,” and even more prominently on Beatlesque follow-ups like “Your Dress” and “Like a Miracle.” For casual Foxx fans, the story ended shortly thereafter when the singer retreated from pop music in the mid-’80s. But he broke his long silence by teaming with fellow synthesist Louis Gordon for a pair of albums — represented here by the excellent, atmospheric “The Noise” and “Nightlife” — that revisited Foxx‘s minimalistic early-’80s output. Even aficionados who own those two discs should find Modern Art of interest, however, as it contains an eight-minute version of “Shifting City” from Foxx and Gordon’s mega-rare 1997 live CD, Subterranean Omnidelic Exotour. And veteran collectors will be delighted with the inclusion of “My Face,” a robotic, Metamatic-era outtake previously available only on a flexi-disc, as well as the original single version of one of Foxx‘s biggest hits, “Endlessly.” Most importantly, despite its mixture of the familiar and obscure and the 20-year time span of its contents, Modern Art offers a surprisingly coherent play from beginning to end — a testament to the peculiar timelessness of Foxx‘s synthetic sound and spiritual devotions.