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Album Review

The music that accompanies the Cirque du Soleil shows, preserved on souvenir soundtrack albums, has about as much importance in the presentations as the costumes and the lighting. It helps to pace the action and give it flair, but it is no more than a supporting element. That's as true of Zed as of any other Cirque extravaganza. Tribal drums or timpani (or maybe it's all just synthesized percussion) pound mightily, washes of string-like sounds fill the midrange, and ethereal male and female voices sometimes waft in. Those voices sing in foreign languages that are difficult to identify — Russian? — much less comprehend. But that doesn't matter. What matters is that the delicate "Zed in Love," for example, accompanies a lyrical moment in the production, perhaps an interlude or a high-wire dance. "Blue Silk" and "The Worlds Meet" are both big ballad duets for male and female voices, and they sound like the love themes from 1980s movies, or maybe from a musical composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber, if he were from Romania. If Cirque du Soleil is a glorified circus (and it is), then the music is part of the glorification, and Zed is pretty much par for the course.


Formed: Quebec, Canada

Genre: Soundtrack

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Cirque du Soleil revolutionized the circus arts, transcending the traditional big-top approach of the past to spotlight elaborate sets, lavish costume, and original music. Founded in Quebec in 1984 by Guy Laliberté and Daniel Gauthier, the original group comprised local street performers; shunning animal acts to focus exclusively on human spectacles -- stilt-walkers, jugglers, fire-eaters, and the like -- the troupe quickly earned a following throughout Canada, eventually spreading across North America....
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