Feb 12, 2010

We Are the World II = Disaster

I listened with an open mind. I watched it twice. I even shed a tear(how can Michael Jackson STILL make me cry?) but at the end I realized that dull empty feeling in the pit of my stomach was complete disapointment. The only part that was gratifying was that they actually did include Michael Jackson's vocals from the original and some of the footage of him. They should have done a much better job adding Janet Jackson into the video and she should have sung alone in a duet with him (it looked like she was mouthing the words).

http://perezhilton.com/2010-02-13-we-are-the-world-25 - there is a complete list of everyone who sang on this version if you copy and paste this link.

After I watched the new version I thought about what it was that was lacking, and I realized it is exactly what I had worried about before they recorded it. You just can't take a song that was so successful and repurpose it. There is emotion that we all feel when we listen to or watch the original. We all know when Cindi is going to sing her line and when Ray Charles does his thing. I wait for Bob Dylan's famous lines and most of all get the chills when Michael has his solo. There is nostalgia and years of admiration that is attributed to that song.

Watching the new version a few people stood out, as expected- Celine Dion, Adam Levine, Pink, Miley Cyrus...I know, that one surprised me too, but she was good. I did not like the LL Cool J/Will.i.am freestyle thing and if you're going to sing with a voice box T-pain, Lil Wayne and Akon, you may as well have stayed home- this was not about YOUR sound, it was about lending your voices to a cause. Oh, and Jaime Fox- don't think I didn't catch your Ray Charles impression that you threw in there. We all know you did an amazing job playing him but that was years ago, you need to get over it- once again- this was NOT ABOUT YOU.

I can keep going, Justin Bieber, you are adorable and if I was 12 I'd probably want to marry you but you know you were only included to appeal to the tween demographic, right? I mean, your songs are catchy but you do not yet possess the vocal acumen or the platinum records to have been included. Kanye- how much did you have to pay to get in? You think this will clean up your image after the p.o.s stunts you keep pulling? Stop seeking publicity and actually put your money where your mouth is- i didn't see you down in Haiti lending a hand. Hey, Nick Jonas- remember you bragged on Kimmel that they gave you Bob Dylan's solo to 'sing' and you made a snide comment about how Dylan didn't sing it in the first place? Well, I checked, seems like you may not have done such a bang up job yourself because aside from a millisecond shot of you in a group shot I didn't hear a peep outta you. Santana, mad props on the guitar as usual. Snoop Dog, your voice is so recognizable, why didn't they give you a line? Biggest travesty inmy opinion (besides the obvious ones) ROBIN THICKE DIDN'T GET A SOLO! Um, who was directing this thing- oh yeah, the same people who did it the first time- MINUS MICHAEL JACKSON- so now we all know who really infused the original with it's magic.

It actually pains me to be so critical since most of these people are musical heroes of mine. I grew up loving Celine(she did a great job regardless), Streisand, and countless others, but where was the art? Where was the effort and the commitment that Michael Jackson put into the original?

All that talent in a room and you couldn't write an original song??? I think that is the thing that irks me the most. Instead of doing it the right way and putting in the time and effort, you all relied on a song that already proved itself and resang it and added some background noise. The original touched people because it was authentic, this was churned out without the love and desire that is so obvious in the original.

You can go to the website here for all the info- www.world25.org
It has links to watch the video, donate and there are more pictures of everyone recording, plus a complete list of all the people involved (the perez link above is only partial).


  1. Chani,

    You make some good points. I agree they shouldve written a new song, but they're looking to sell records and make money, and the fastest way to do that is to recreate something famous.

    The song was decent. Not great though. I actually didnt mind the rap part, they needed something different, but I agree that the artists who made it about their sound or about themselves were out of place. What bothered me the most was the singing of Wyclef whose voice was quite annoying.


  2. I was trying not to rip on Wyclef since this really seems to be all about Haiti for him and he was singing in the genre of his people. It annoyed the heck out of me too, it was jarring and not in sync with the rest of the song.

    Btw, I was making a mental list of who else I would have wanted to see included in this version- leave your thoughts and comments:
    U2, Bon Jovi, Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera, Madonna, Alicia Keys, Beyonce, Rihanna, Andrea Bocelli, Steven Tyler, Eminem, Jay-Z, Linkin Park, Kings of Leon.
    Plus, I really think that some of the originals should have made an appearance as well, even if only in the chorus.

    I should really make a whole new post about this, but I also thought they really wasted the opportunity of recording this AT the Grammy's. They could have gotten the audience to sing it and panned across every artist in the room and then added sound later on. THAT would have been pretty cool, especially for everyone in the room to know they contributed in some way. Just an idea.
    Last thought- I know Prince was asked and then missed out on recording the first one, I really thought he should have been on this second version too.

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