Featured Photos

Baseball Hall of Fame - 8/23/11

Featured Video

Avery's QuEST Project - It's Healthy!

House Construction

The Completed Home Renovation

Home Renovation - Complete!

Our House Construction Photoblog

RSS Feed

« | Main | »

Who, Exactly, Is the World?

By Brian | February 15, 2010 | Share on Facebook

OK, it’s impossible not to compare, so here we go. Two groups of people who boldly claim, “We are the World.” Which group do you prefer?

Obviously, these are both wonderful causes, so I’m comparing only music videos here.

I guess I’m predisposed to prefer the original, since it’s how I first heard the song, and contains a larger percentage of artists that I know and/or identify with. That said, the new version is growing on me. I’m surprised by how much I like the rap breaks, both in the middle and at the end. I think what Wyclef Jean did with Creole lyrics and singing style went a long way toward making this an effort in Haitian relief, and not just a remake of the original song. I like the way they incorporated Michael Jackson into it (the image of Janet singing next to her brother is the first tribute to his legacy that doesn’t feel commercialized in some way), and I love the Ray Charles impression that Jamie Foxx threw in to honor another of the original’s stand-out artists.

On the other hand, I’m mystified about why they changed the lyrics to one of the verses (was there a religious objection to “As God has shown us by turning stone to bread?”). I’m surprised by Celine Dion’s choice to imitate, note for note, what Cyndi Lauper did with her part (with apparent coaching from Lionel Richie?), rather than bringing her own interpretation to the song. I think teen sensation, Justin Bieber, is going to get a big bump in face-recognition from singing the first solo (“There comes a time…”), but that most people will conclude that his voice was too weak to handle it. And I’m deeply, deeply troubled by the acceptance of auto-tune as a musical choice by folks Lil Wayne and others. If melodic singing isn’t his thing, then find someone else to do Bob Dylan’s part, please? That, or for heaven’s sake, someone please improve the auto-tune technology so it doesn’t sound like a robot attempting to sing such soulful lyrics!

In the end, I still prefer the original, but I’m glad they both exist. And if the new one is nearly as successful as the original in raising money for a good cause, then I’m doubly glad they put in the time and effort.

“Let us realize that a change will only come when we stand together as one…”

Topics: Words about Music | No Comments »


Comments will be sent to the moderation queue.