MonaLisa Twins, "Why?" Why? Because They're Fantastic, That's Why!

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MonaLisa Twins WHY?

The MonaLisa Twins are singer/songwriting, multi-instrumentalist duo of twin sisters, Mona Wagner and Lisa Wagner, who hail from Austria. They have their own website ( where you can find out all about them, get news and updates from them, buy albums, merchandise, join their own subscription “club” (which helps fund their ability to make music independently without big record companies or labels), among other things.

I must confess that before reviewing this CD from the duo, I had only heard of them by name and not yet by music, even though they have several albums out.

But, having said that and having now experienced what they make and are capable of making, shame on me, as I could kick myself in the pants for not having listened to them sooner!

For me, if there were ever songwriters that wrote and performed music clearly influenced by the Beatles and other great groups, and also wrote songs that would truly make you think it was written by them, The MonaLisa Twins are the real deal. But not just the Beatles, oh no! While listening to this album, I could have easily thought some of the songs could have been the work of Pink Floyd or David Bowie and even Joni Mitchell!

But while these songs may be similar to these great performers, they have a substance to them that makes them their own, taking to task world governments, events, life, and the pursuit of happiness. Each song tells a unique story, proving to me these ladies have incredible songwriting as well as vocal abilities. To be able to pen and sing their own words, while also conveying a certain style all their own is real honest to goodness talent.

To be sure, not every song sounds like some other performer. Nay nay, there are tunes here that are undoubtedly their own style, as I mentioned above, which makes this album so much fun to listen to! Songs like “Janitor Joe,” which sounds to me like a mix of the  Beatles’ “Bungalo Bill” and Bowie’s “Space Oddity.” Or the title track, “Why?”, a very poignant, in-your-face song about the world and its governments, so bold in its lyrics and composition that it struck me as something Pink Floyd would have made back in the days of Roger Waters. Or “I Bought Myself A Politician,” which would have fit easily into the Beatles’ “Sgt Peppers” album.

Certainly, it’s no stretch to hear the fab four sound on this album: the Twins have made three albums of Beatles covers.

According to the notes included on the little booklet accompanying the CD, the album was made “independently, unconstrained, and at their own pace.” And it shows. I can only imagine how the big record companies would have butchered some of these songs and tried to make them sound like they wanted them to.

Here you get to hear them as The MonaLisa Twins intended, and it is wonderful!

Don’t let the fact that they made this album on their own (on Woolgoose Records) lead you to think this is some sort of basement recording. This album is recorded exceptionally well! The vocals are mic’d beautifully, and both ladies’ voices are right there with you, centered beautifully between the speakers with a life-like texture to their voices that allows them to harmonize while at the same time letting the listener “see” them positioned side by side in the sound stage. The depth of the soundstage is not that deep, but since I cannot see where other musicians worked on this album, this could be due to the fact that the twins perhaps played all of the instruments, which would account for the single plane feel of the soundstage to me.

The bass notes are tight and well defined without being overpowering, and the guitar work, both electric and acoustic, has an authentic feel to it. From top to bottom, this is a first-rate recording that draws you into listening to it!

I could tell they really enjoy performing. As you listen to this album, songs are sung upbeat and fun, as well as serious and, at times, dire when need be. All of them tell a story that is easy to follow and allows you to just sit back and enjoy each of them!

Here you have a chance to listen to some really talented singer/songwriters who have staved off kowtowing to the big record companies in order to put out the music they want the world to hear; and fortunately they have built a following that has allowed them to do this so far, and I hope continue doing it going forward. Today’s pablum music scene needs this. I need this. Perhaps the world needs this. It’s a breath of fresh air that hasn’t forgotten those who came before.

Highly recommended.


  1. Make Show
  2. I Bought Myself A Politician
  3. Janitor Joe
  4. Questionable
  5. Destination Sunrise
  6. Summer Rain
  7. Songbird
  8. Jump Ship
  9. Any Other Day
  10. If You Raise Your Head
  11. Why?
  12. Pretty Little Thing
5.0 / 5.0