Review Summary: Amaluna's thunderous music is as colourful and extravagant as the show itself, and a must own for any Cirque collector.
"From the sea, to the moon. True the light, we share free...
Those are the words that open the surreal and dreamlike coundtrack to Cirque's 32nd show, Amaluna
. If you've seen the show, chances are, the image of the red cloak drifting through the air is playing in your mind right now. The song itself, "All Come Together", is the song that provides the subdued, yet chaotic feel for the soundtrack, and is truly the best opener since the tune that gets Quidam
up and running. It's also a sign that this soundtrack will truly stand out from the others- whereas they were more new-age meets world music, this show is the first time a Cirque show has experimented with more rock music. Put forth by Quebec composers Bob & Bill, Amaluna
takes pride in the fact that it's a feminism centered show. The show is a female spin on Shakespeare's The Tempest
, and what better way to enhance this by introducing, for the first time ever, an all female band.
Despite being more straightforward Rock than your typical Cirque Du Soleil show, the album still features many different clashing styles. There's some jazz funk, some heavy metal, a few areas even sound like other Cirque shows, some Coldplayish elements and even choral music. All the songs are filled with emotion and paint very rich and lush soundscapes. In addition, the production is brilliant and most of the songs sound like a huge roof of sound over your head, enhancing the dreaminess.
Some highlights from the soundtrack include "O Ma Ley", which plays during the hand balancing and waterbowl act. It's a very minimalistic tune, with only sprinkles of percussion to be heard, and mostly keyboard, bass and a xylophone. There's some lyrics in Cirquish (essentially the gibberish in some of their songs, but carefully made to sound Foreign), and soaring vocals really give it an intimate feel. "Creature of Light" is a deeply moving tune- it's mostly all choral work and is meant to represent Romeo's separation from Miranda after being deemed unworthy of her by the island. The vocal melody is truly unforgettable and fits as sorrowful Romeo glides up and down the Chinese pole. Even more amazing is "Whisper". The song consists of light synth chords and breathing all the way through. It may not translate as well separated from the show as it is in the show, but in the show it's truly a wonder- as Lara Jacobs balances bones on top of each other. It's a scene that will have you peeking through your fingers and whispering to yourself "don't drop it! Don't drop it! Don't drop it!!!!!", but even I, already having seen the show, was doing that as I was listening on my full stereo.
Another highlight is "Hope", a beautiful and dark song that plays during the arial hoop scene as the hoop artist flies through the air, occasionally stopping to soak her feet in the waterbowl. Perhaps more known as the "Amaluna" song (she repeats that word so many times), it's full of suspense and tension and as the song reaches the climatic final note, it's just spine chilling in every sense of the word. "Tempest" is arguably one of the heaviest songs in Cirque's catalogue, which starts off with a harsh cello roof and evolves into a tribal themed heavy metal tune. And by the time the album reaches "Run", you'll truly be sad the soundtrack is over, as you've just been treated to some of the most pleasant and lush soundscapes one could imagine Cirque being capable of.
While some may be turned off at the idea of Cirque breaking away from the more traditional style Cirque is known for, Amaluna
is nonetheless a triumph for Cirque's music team, and will definitely become a classic for the times to come. Cirque has had to step up their game in recent years as ZAIA
struggled to sell tickets in China, Viva Elvis!
, and Michael Jackson: The IMMORTAL World Tour
all received mixed at best reviews, and Banana Shpeel
, Criss Angel: BeLIEve
(*** Criss Angel.), and Wintuk
all were hated by audiences, Cirque seem to be onto something with the direction they've been taking with Totem
and now this. By all means, do buy this album.