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Monkey 

Journey to the West


Monkey
Journey to the West
(XL)
Buddies Damon Albarn and artist Jamie Hewlett follow up the world's most successful cartoon band, Gorillaz, with Monkey. More than an affinity to simian creatures, Monkey is the lead character from Journey to the West, their ambitious operatic stage adaptation of the 16th-century Chinese novel. It's hard to imagine these two pulling off an entire opera after watching their frat-boy antics in the doc Bananazat the film fest, but there's magic here, bringing Brit pop together with Chinese folk music. Sure it's dramatic and artsy, but it's fun to play loud---thanks to new arrangements on songs like "Monkey Bee," which would be welcome on the dance floor.
Sue Carter Flinn

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