What happens when you combine a variety of music genres together? The answer to this question is quite simple, the amazing new duo Monk & Neagle. Flicker Records artists Trent Monk and Michael Neagle combine their smooth genre preferences together to form an energetic, exciting, and unique feeling. With the mixture of pop, rock, jazz, funk, and a touch of folk, anyone can find at least one song they can appreciate. Monk and Neagle express the love for their wives, of more than five years, through their amazing freshman self-titled project. Neagle had just released his first single project, Recreated, before deciding to become a double act with Monk.
Monk & Neagle, produced by Ed Cash (Bebo Norman, Chris Tomlin, Caedmon's Call, and Bethany Dillon) is an interesting freshman effort. Personally, I believe they sound a lot like Bebo Norman and Chris Tomlin's music, which isn't a surprise considering their producer. Their songs hold an acoustic pop sound to them with intermingled folk and guitar styles. Monk and Neagle both hold strong vocal harmonies that seem to flow with each other. Monk & Neagle contains a few reworked independent tracks. Their songs are soulful, passionate, and communicate a message to the hearts of most listeners. The duo wish to portray what God has done in their personal relationships with Him and others in their lives.
Starting off the album is their first single "All I Need", which portrays the rock beat of Monk and Neagle. Usually I'm not one to find the CD's single as my favorite song of the album, but this is an exception. "All I Need" has a strong beat, mixed with extravagant lyrics. "I'm holding on to the center of your love, where everything reminds me of you." Next you find "Secret", a more worshipful song than the others. Later on the album, you find the intimate "Dancing With Angels", which expresses sorrow for the loss of a loved one. The song started out as deeply personal until Neagle tweaked it to have a more widespread feel.
The album is a mixture of emotions ranging from light-hearted moments to fervent sincere songs. Elements of different genres are communicated greatly in "You", with a solid jazz feeling, and "Lovely Woman" with a more acoustic folk feel. "Harmony" also holds that acoustic trend throughout the song. "Harmony" reminds me greatly of music from artists like John Mayer.
You've got to give Monk and Neagle credit for this appealing piece of art, but we all look for that originality every new artist craves for and it seems as though Monk and Neagle are still searching for it. Fans of Bebo Norman or Chris Tomlin would definitely appreciate the sound of Monk and Neagle. Hopefully more people will open up to their brand of music, so check them out!- Review date: 9/10/04, written by Jessica Vander Loop
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