While kick starting our Olympic fever with the opening ceremonies Karin and I watched the new We Are the World video. Lionel Ritchie and Quincy Jones put together a new group to remake the iconic single again and this time to support relief efforts in Haiti. First off let me say that I am 100% behind the idea itself and I hope the project sells like crazy and raises all sorts of money. It should be very popular and I’m glad that Jones and Ritchie deemed the tragedy worthy of such a big undertaking.
Now, about the song; yeesh, there’s a whole lot of autotuning going on there. I don’t know who the little kid starting the song off is but if he can’t hit the notes then make him sing another part of the song. Computers helped the voices of quite a few of those singers and I’m all for technology giving us new tools to make things better but if you can’t sing, you shouldn’t sing. Not professionally at least. I have a problem with a group like this recording one song to begin with. No dynamic build up to a grand finale. Every singer wants to give it their all and really belt out their particular line which leaves the whole of its parts feeling over-sung. In this age of rampant over-singing (I’m looking squarely at you Celine Dion and blaming its popularity all on you) I could hardly sit through the whole song.
While I’m sure that there were some actual emotions being used by some of these artists I felt that it looked too much like an image and PR get. In the internet and 24 hour news cycle society every move a celebrity makes seems to be in furtherance of some sort of marketing and this seemed less sincere than the original release. Perhaps I’m just way too cynical about the cult of personality in this country. Vince Vaughan? Vince Vaughan, Really? I know the original had the likes of Dan Akroyd but at least Dan had been in the Blues Brothers.
Like I said, I hope it is a very successful project and raises enormous amounts of money to help the people of Haiti. I just don’t think its a very good song or an interesting performance, no matter how many stars you pack into the studio; or perhaps because of how many stars were packed into the studio.