Monk & Neagle's sophomore album, The Twenty-First Time, proves the band's viability of success and musical talent. Following their 2004 self-titled debut on Flicker Records, The Twenty-First Time creates an allure of folk-inspired light rock, mixed with some up-beat pop, and even touches of jazz. Trent Monk and Michael Neagle both provide enjoyable vocals paired with simple, light-hearted lyrics, and the music itself is unlike any other contemporary Christian act I've yet to come across.
The duo really shows the measures they are capable of reaching with their new release. Each song is unique in its melodies, although the themes primarily deal with the duo's love for their wives and their Savior. Even though the subject matter doesn't stray too far from one another, the music provides a variety of options and new experiences for the listener- whether old or new.
The Twenty-First Time starts off with the catchy "Beautiful You" - a tribute the pair makes to their spouses, which is accompanied by "Yours Forever" and "Wonderful Angel." The title track is a soft, polished acoustic song which asks the relatable question of why we fail to serve those less fortunate than ourselves when we know they are God's children as well. "But what if it's Jesus and I walk away? I say I'm the body and drink of the wine but I pretend not to see Him for the twenty-first time" is a lyric that puts the issue in perspective for the listener and helps us realize that we need to "look for Jesus in everyone" and give back to the Father as He has given us so much.
Other notable songs include the upbeat "Into Orbit," "What Soldiers Do," which tells the story of a father sending his son letters of encouragement, hope, and love while he is serving in the war, and "Hallelujah, Jesus" - a beautiful worship song, originally done by Evan Wickham, which portrays the many roles Jesus has in our lives. The Twenty-First Time also includes a remix of "What Soldiers Do" and "Stars Would Fall" which was also featured on their self-titled debut.
Music lovers of any genre could appreciate this album as it serves up a multitude of songs and musical styles, as well as very relatable themes. Fans of the duo should have no hesitation in buying this album and newcomers to Monk & Neagle will be blown away by the light-hearted and diverse material.- Review date: 9/16/07, written by Lindsay Wiseman
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