Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Album Review: MonaLisa Twins "Christmas"

The MonaLisa Twins have graced our ears with one of the early new Christmas releases of 2019, their album "Christmas".  Twin sisters Mona and Lisa Wagner, Austrian born but now residents of Liverpool, UK - a fine place to make music - are a mere 25 years of age but bring a distinctive, rich sound to their 11-song Christmas collection.

The sisters' vocal duets have a sound reminiscent of other 'sister' groups, like the Andrews Sisters (real sisters) and the Puppini Sisters (not real).  As a duet, their vocal harmonies are more striking than the larger groups, resulting in beautifully engaging holiday songs.

The album opener, "All I Want Christmas To Be" is the sole original composition on the album.  It blends fond remembrances of Christmases past with a European spin - glimpses of fairies and many wonderful things.  The song is lyrically fresh with just a tad bit of snark - what might be expected in our modern world when young adults recall the holidays of their childhood.

"Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" is a highlight of the album.  It's arranged with an upbeat tempo, and instead of the traditional sadness of Judy Garland and many others, MLT sings it with exuberant joy.  The sadness in the lyrics is approached as being in the past, and the singer(s) are really, happily, wishing you to have a merry little Christmas.  There's a lot of energy in the performance, and it's very refreshing.

The song arrangements are a highlight throughout the album.  "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" is slowed down just a bit and performed with a traditional waltz tempo.  "Happy Xmas (War is Over)" is a party of a song (after a traditional first verse), with a calypso beat, joyful noises of celebration in the background, and a true feeling of war ending, complete with dancing in the streets.

"Walking in the Air", a wonderful song being covered on more and more Christmas albums, is rendered as a pop song highlighting the sisters' vocal harmonies.  "Santa Baby" is re-imagined by Mona and Lisa into a musical wishlist, of guitars, a trombone, and even a tympani!  They have whimsically turned it into a fun, enjoyable song with their much-needed lyrical enhancements.  I like it :-)

"Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth" is a performance of the Bing Crosby/David Bowie classic.  To me, the version by Bing & Bowie is untouchable, and I doubt that I ever hear another version I love.  Mona and Lisa do, however, treat it with respect and perform it very reverently and capably.  For those who are wishing for a new take on the old classic, this may be the version for you.

"Christmas" by the MonaLisa Twins is a great start to the 2019 Christmas music season!  It is available in digital format on Amazon, but the twins' website has a multitude of digital and physical options and bundles, including packages with their previous releases, signed copies, guitar straps and picks, jackets, and so on.   Very cool stuff for a very cool Christmas album.

MonaLisa Twins website

MonaLisa Twins "Christmas" on Amazon

A digital copy of the album was provided to Merry & Bright! for review.


  1. Hi... Enjoyed your blog post on MonaLisa Twins Xmas album. I've been a fan of their music going on 13vyrs now and this superb Xmas collection covers all aspects of the Xmas Spirit Heart Groovingly.... Thankyou for your blog post, I enjoyed reading and agree 👍😁✌️

  2. I LOVE the MonaLisa Twins! These girls are so talented it's almost sick! Each play several different instruments as well. Check out their web site for sure, their original songs are AWESOME and very 60's like. I highly recommend them!