New Age, 1997
This French show troupe featuring predominantly Chinese acrobats and trapeze artistes puts on a pretty amazing show. Their too-brief performance during the 2002 Academy Awards isn’t as good as sitting through one of their musical extravaganzas. I sat through Alegría last year, and wow.
My first impression of the music behind the shows is: wow. Sounds cool. So I bought this compilation of “best of” songs from Cirque du Soleil’s shows (Cirque du Soleil, Mystère, Saltimbanco, Nouvelle Expërience, and of course, Alegría).
Well, I’m quite disappointed, really. Sure, there are lots of epic music filled with crescendos and dramatic sweeps just like every new age instrumentalist from Vangelis to Yanni (eeuw) crossed with a very restrained pop rock opera refrains. The result is a very familiar, predictable, and trite affair.
The only memorable track is the theme to Alegría, a moody but soaring pop-opera with a husky Bonnie Tyler sound-alike. This is a grandiose ballad never heard since Ms Tyler’s own Total Eclipse of the Heart. The husky passion of this track sends shivers up my spine.
But that’s it, really. Oh, what a waste.