Inspired by the sixteenth century Chinese folkloric tale of the magic Monkey King and the many literary works that echo that tale, Monkey! is an unlikely project from the Irish band Kila. While they do a respectable job of recreating moody Asian music suitable for a cinematographic production, the music on this album doesn't actually accompany a film. Perhaps in the collective minds of Kila there exists a coherent picture but until one actually materializes the listener will somehow have to make sense of the ethereal Asian soundscapes sprinkled with minimalist rock and traditional Irish music. Less than a handful of the 17 tracks even remotely resemble anything that Kila has recorded in the past, and that similarity has more to do with their use of frenzied rhythms and not their use of traditional Irish instruments coupled with their erstwhile unique arrangements. Interesting yes, but hardly reflective of the innovative sound that has adorned the recordings of Kila in the past.
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AllMusic Review by Dave Sleger