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Journey To The West Image
Metascore
69

Generally favorable reviews - based on 13 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: Damon Albarn produced and wrote the music for the adaptation of a 16th Chinese book into a stage opera.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 13
  2. Negative: 0 out of 13
  1. 80
    Monkey: Journey to the West is a testament to Albarn's versatility as a musician and his melodies' ability to avoid becoming losing their power in translation.
  2. While bound by established conventions, [it] is nonetheless rich and dazzling enough to soundtrack a saga that exists outside the bounds of normal human capabilities. [Oct 2008, p.60]
  3. You can go a fair distance without encountering a tune, which is less of a problem when there is something to look at. But even during the occasional longueurs, it's hard not to marvel at the ambition on display here, hard to think of anyone who would dare attempt something similar, and impossible to imagine someone else pulling it off with more aplomb.
  4. 60
    It probably made for a more interesting theatrical experience than it does standalone album, but if the form--expressive, exaggerated musical drama--is a bit unfamiliar, then Albarn's insidious tunes are not. [Oct 2008, p.101]
  5. Journey To The West begs to be paid attention to and listened to in one sitting, a remarkable feat for what would in lesser hands feel like a lessoon in culural history. [Fall 2008, p.77]
  6. 60
    File under 'brilliantly out-there.' [Oct 2008, p.110]
  7. I was so looking forward to hearing Monkey: Journey to the West, as I'd totally succumbed to its charm in the theatre, but I'd advise anyone approaching this CD to do so with caution, especially if you've not seen it in its glory in the theatre where it belongs.

See all 13 Critic Reviews