The Next Best Thing to 8 Bit Nintendo
8 Bit Monk is one of those â€šÃ„Ãºgive it another chanceâ€šÃ„Ã¹ albums. You know the kind; you put it into your music player, listen to the first couple of tracks, think itâ€šÃ„Ã´s way too weird, and ban it to the Island of Misfit CDs. Indeed, this was what followed my first encounter with Wovenâ€šÃ„Ã´s newest album. With sounds ranging from ambient to alternative rock, drum nâ€šÃ„Ã´ bass to down-tempo hip-pop, this L.A. sextet is all over the board inosculating genres left and right. It may be this mishmash of musical ingredients that put me off at first, but truth be told, this album grew on me when I sat down and took the time to give it a second listen.What exists as the albumâ€šÃ„Ã´s main criticism may perhaps be its greatest triumph. These six â€šÃ„Ãºanalog junkiesâ€šÃ„Ã¹ (as a friend coined) manage to record a solid album full of texture, creativity, and strong song-writing skills. Jonathan Burkes’ vocals, and Wovenâ€šÃ„Ã´s backing instruments, vary from searing to sincere while maintaining their spacey ambient feel. With an album as intelligent and chill as Monk, here is a record perfect for techno elitists and coffee house patrons alike. It is this diversity and innovation that makes Monk a quality album deserving of a second (or more) listen.