February 2006

Cirque du Soleil - KA
Cirque du Soleil Musique CDSMCJ 20024-2
Format: CD
Released: 2005

by Michael Galvin

Musical Performance ****
Recording Quality ****
Overall Enjoyment ***

Having not seen the Cirque De Soleil show, KA, I cannot state just how close this recording comes to re-creating the live-show experience. What is immediately apparent upon listening to the CD is just how grand the whole thing must be. This latest Cirque du Soleil release supposedly features more actual music from the show than the soundtracks to previous Cirque du Soleil productions. This is the first Cirque recording to feature a 40-member choir, which appears on nine of the sixteen tracks. This is composer René Dupere’s first Cirque du Soleil work since the best-selling Alegria (1994), and the result is a recording rich in emotion, magnificent in scale, and admirable in its technical merit.

Most of the vocals and much of the music remind me of early-1990s Enya, with its pleasant, haunting lead vocals. The last three tracks are sung in English, and the booklet includes the lyrics. Not being fluent in French, I was surprised that I came to prefer the French-language songs, although there was not a translation of them included in the booklet. But maybe that’s the point: just listen and try to understand on a different level. Listening to track three, for example, it occurred to me that it might be precisely because I didn’t know what was being said that the transcendent beauty of both the music and the voice came through.