Various Artists

Operación Triunfo 2009: Musica

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The various-artists soundtrack compilation Operación Triunfo 2009: Música includes appearances from 13 of the contestants from the seventh season of the Spanish reality show, and a tasteful selection of material performed over the course of the season. In order to squeeze in as many appearances as possible over the course of this 23-track album, nearly every song is sung as a duet, and there are seven on which multiple vocalists team up on a group performance. Tops among the contestants who appear on Operación Triunfo is seventh season winner Mario Álvarez, a 23-year-old from Oviedo, Asturias. In addition to the group performances, he can be heard on the English-language songs "Viva la Vida" (Coldplay) and "Human" (the Killers). Most of the other dozen contestants are likewise featured on a couple songs each. In general, the material performed on Operación Triunfo is quite good. There is a fairly even balance between Spanish- and English-language material. Spanish highlights include versions of Carlos Baute's "Colgando en Tus Manos," Maná's "Labios Compartidos," Antonio Vega's "El Sitio de Mi Recreo," and Luis Miguel's "Dormir Contigo." English highlights include the Mamas & the Papas "California Dreamin'," Roberta Flack's "Killing Me Softly with His Song," Willie Nelson's "Crazy," and Green Day's "Boulevard of Broken Dreams." While much of this material is quite good, the performances often fail to impress. The version of "Colgando en Tus Manos" is pleasant enough, in large part because it's such a likable song to start with, yet the versions of "Labios Compartidos" and "El Sitio de Mi Recreo" absolutely pale in comparison to the originals. As for the group performances, Operación Triunfo 2009 opens with a standout, "Música," the theme song of Operación Triunfo, a Spanish-language adaptation of the John Miles hit "Music" from 1976, and closes with another, "Jai Ho (You Are My Destiny)," the theme song of the 2008 film Slumdog Millionare.