Friday, January 22, 2016


The latest soundtrack by Cirque du Soleil (Source: Spotify)
I guess that Cirque du Soleil is past the point of caring about creating exquisite melodies and transportive works. Joyá is a clumsy and bombastic half-hour of music that we could've all done without, and will go in one ear and out the other whether you want it to or not.

This Spanglish (read: what white people think Mexican music sounds like) product is brought to you from the dinner show which performs at the Riviera Maya Resort in Mexico. From what I gather, the performance itself takes a backseat from the food - and it sounds like the music is an after-thought to even the background. 

The composition is very slap dash, nothing special and certainly doesn't 'feel' like a Cirque du Soleil score. There have been competitors knocking off Cirque for years with foreign sounding lyrics and 'zany' compositions, but it seems we've reached a full cycle where Cirque du Soleil is now imitating that exact style. There isn't really anything in terms of lyrics, and while there is a use of 'motifs' they are so basic it's like listening to a nursery rhyme on repeat.

One of the lines is 'Ai yi yi yi yi'. Guys, we get it, we're in Mexico.

The mix of instruments just doesn't work. The core instruments are guitar, keyboards/percussion and trumpet, with a female and sometimes male voice joining them. Even when the score tries to be upbeat, it sounds cheesy and low energy. The mixing of the CD is really bizarre too (instruments surge and pan between ears, weird effects on instruments), and there's also an unfortunately gross sounding synthesised strings plug-in that features prominently (and when it does it sounds ridiculous). The whole recording feels very lifeless.

If 'Comedy of Errors' had been in another show as a clown act, I would've commended the composers for finally making a cute, goofy and interesting cue. But it's not for a clown act - it's literally the only stand-out in the score for simply not being derivative, and even then it's not something you could listen to for an extended period of time. Nothing here is going to endure over time or become a proud hallmark of the company's musical catalog.

Even if you've been to the show, I can't think of a single reason why you'd want to listen to this boring mess. If you're a diehard Cirque fan and you need to own it, be prepared to go through some annoying lengths as the physical record is only available at the show. It's cheesy clichés galore and it sounds like hackneyed background noise at a family friendly themed restaurant - oh wait, that's *exactly* what the pitch is.

'Joyá' by Cirque du Soleil is available digitally on iTunes, and Spotify. Available on physical CD at Joya's Official Boutique onsite. .

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