12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars
Peach & Magic, 20 Aug 2008
A gem infusing Chinese music with beautiful electronic soundscape. The output works and brought freshness to traditional music. This album is worth listening to for the sound alone, and the diverse treatments of the tracks, such as the delightful "Heavenly Peach Banquet" pop, the lyrical "The Living Sea" and the unflinchingly folk music of "Monk's Song" using only voices and pipa without electronic instruments. The best and most innovative track is "Monkey Bee" in which human voices and music instruments blended to good effects. You get to hear the voices as layers of riffs and a main theme, used (with a different lyric) in the BBC Olympic theme tune which also has a similar highly charged climix. Crank the volume up!
This is a music suite and not a complete soundtrack from the opera. Yes, some tracks could last a bit longer, but you could just repeat the tracks. If you are into soundtrack or classical music, this shouldn't be challenging at all to listen to. In fact it's quite accessible because of some of the tunes (yes) and interesting sound. Shouldn't need a second listening to 'get it'.
In terms of context, it is a bit irrelevant as I wonder how the epic and long journey would fit into a 90-minutes opera, let alone a suite. This won't tell you the whole story for which, better alternatives are available: read the book or watch the 13 discs Monkey! tv series. Looking at the CD sleeves, I hope the duo are thinking about a comic book or musical animation series (like Stokowski's Fantasia) for those of us who can't get enough of this monkey magic.