"Since Kooza's premiere in Montreal, the music has been a touchy subject among Cirque fans. Kooza aims to infuse a mixture of pop, 1970s funk, big band and traditional Indian music under the signature Cirque du Soleil music experience. Unfortunately, this attempt seems to fall flat on it's face, which really is a first for Cirque.
The problem with this soundtrack is that in it's 'pop' influence it has included the idea that one good line should be written, then simply play it over and over again. Kooza's soundtrack ends up boring the listener in more that one place. Songs to avoid on this are 'Royaume', 'Superstar 1 + 2', 'Alambre Alto', 'Hum Jaisa Na Dekha', 'El Péndulo de la Muerte' and 'Prarthana'. Most of the album.
The soundtrack also seems to take the pieces the extreme. Rather than staying 100% faithful to the original score, the musical directors opted to hire a string orchestra, a young boys choir and even threw in an ehru to add to this album, all of which sound horribly out of place and were completely unnecessary. 'L'Innocent' which has a beautifully arranged piano part in the Cirque Du Soleil Collection- Songbook, here sounds like a high-school band trying to imitate a Disney overture.
Another gripe with this soundtrack is that the fan favourites were remixed and heavily changed on this album. 'Junoon' and 'Don't Be Afraid' were two very promising Cirque songs, and on this album they have been badly produced or dramatically changed from the original score. 'Don't Be Afraid' gives me goosebumps, but not because it's hauntling beautiful like it used to be, but because the singer sounds as if she is whispering right into your ear. This removes the amazing atmosphere the piece originally had. In addition, who is naming these pieces!?
With the major problems aside, Kooza does manage to deliver a handful of good songs. The opening, 'Kooza Dance', has quite a catchy tune following the unsavoury voice over, and 'Pearl' is sung very well with a nice arrangement. However, these songs really don't make up for the disappointment this clumsy soundtrack is."
There's nothing quite like it
Hilary Amon | Colorado, USA | 02/01/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"For the longest time, Varekai was my favorite Cirque du Soleil album, but that's changed now. Kooza has got one the greatest, if not the greatest Cirque album to date. It is even one of my favorite albums of all time. It has something for everyone in it, and when I say everyone, I mean everyone. It is mostly very upbeat and festive in its sounds. It also contains a vast range of sounds from the haunting "Diables" to the emotional "Don't be afraid" to the adrenalin pumping "16-Papillon."
While listening to Kooza, it is nearly impossible to sit still or even keep a straight face. The songs just make you want to get up dance. I've fallen victim to that tempatation before, and will more than likely again in the future. Simply put, this album is impossible not to enjoy. If you've got a friend whom you suspect may be a robot because he hardly ever smiles or reacts to anything, show him this album. If he doesn't start smiling within a few minutes, he is undoubtably a robot.
And if you're thinking of downloading the MP3 version of the album, resist! With the MP3 version, you'll miss out on the delightful pop-up case that will bring a smile to your face every time you open it up.
Does not stand up to show at all
Scott Thompson | 06/20/2009
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Just went and saw Kooza last night. This marks about 6 different Cirque shows I have seen. I have to say the show did not disappoint in the least. The music was excellent and the fusion went very well I thought. Since we loved the show so much and the previous soundtracks we rushed to the gift shop at intermission to pick up the CD. What a mistake.
While not a horrible album in and of itself, it falls so far short of the live shows score that we barely recognized it as the same show. We actually questioned if it was the same score.
I might have really enjoyed this, may still eventually, but I am so disappointed and unhappy that they strayed so far from the original I am not sure I can listen to it again."
L. Bittner | Manchester, CT | 07/18/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Cirque du Soleil never fails to amaze, but I really think the music in Kooza stands out more than any other show I've seen. There's a range from exciting and delightful to slow and serene, just like the show. All of the musicians are extremely talented."
Harper 20 | New England, USA | 06/27/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've always been a fan of Cirque de Soleil from when I was young. The music for each show is incredible and fits in with the show perfectly. If you have not seen KOOZA, it is worth it. The songs on this album, especially "Kooza Dance" are no exception. Great album."