“We are the World 25 for Haiti” is stunning

16 Feb

…but not in a good way. I heard it for the first time this afternoon on the radio, but it was playing really softly and I could barely hear it, so I couldn’t really be sure that I wasn’t imagining the true awfulness of it all. The video I just watched confirms it all.

I was 9 when USA For Africa came together to create the original We are the World to benefit African famine relief. The song is an iconic one to me. Led by Lionel Richie and Michael Jackson, it defined the 80s, its music, and even endures today because of the living legends that were a part of the effort (Stevie Wonder, Tina Turner, Diana Ross, Bruce Springsteen, Paul Simon etc). Not to say that none of the artists in today’s version will  endure and have careers past 2011, but seriously? Justin Bieber getting to sing the opening line? Why did Lionel give this to him? I have a feeling that in 15 years, someone will be wondering to what young lady that voice belonged. Oh, and was Jamie Foxx really doing an impersonation of Ray Charles in the video? Not cool. Plus, don’t even get me started on the T-Pain, Akon, Lil Wayne (and more) Auto-Tune garbage part of the song.

While I understand the plight in Haiti and appreciate the efforts of all that were involved – because I know that it was no small feat – this version to me seems more like a parody of the original and takes away from the actual intent. There’s too much oversinging and auto-tuning, too little sincerity. Despite all this, I trust that Haiti will benefit much from this and gain more relief because of this new effort.

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2 Responses to ““We are the World 25 for Haiti” is stunning”

  1. Leesh February 16, 2010 at 10:05 pm #

    I totally agree with you…Justin Bieber??? Nicole Scherzinger (however you spell her name, maybe Jay knows)??? I’m not impressed by this remake. Pink and Jennifer Hudson were awesome though! I have only seen the video once and I am not sure if I can draw up the energy to watch it again. The selection of artists for Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Goin On” was much better – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h7qBq7cJg_s

    What was Lionel thinking when he choose the artist for the remake??? The 80s version has much more meaning and with artists who are still popular 25 years later. Their voices are so strong and distinct.

  2. Steph S C-O February 16, 2010 at 10:46 pm #

    I saw part of the video on NBC last Friday and was equally unimpressed. Seriously…Vince Vaughn?! But, as you said, the intent was sincere. Oh and LMAO at the Bieber comment!!!! I’m still laughing!

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