Graham Reid | | 1 min read
You leave yourself open to contempt and not supporting the good cause if you slag off a Save the Whales/Orphans/Poor concert if you observe "but the music was awful". So it is with this album.
The worthy Playing for Change idea is that of a multi-media global movement which connects people through music and of course brings peace to the world. Healthy scepticism says they've got their work cut out, but their effort is admirable. Of course.
This CD/DVD doesn't exactly make you think that the men in suits are actually going to pay much attention (and let's face, at some level they are the ones who might make the most significant changes). But I guess the feel-good vibe it generates is an end in itself.
Here citizens from the global village are brought together through the marvels of 21st century technology (they are recorded in separate locations, much like the 1 Giant Leap project) and they sing . . . Well, Stand By Me, some Bob Marley of course, Peter Gabriel's Biko, Tracy Chapman's Talkin' Bout A Revolution, Sam Cooke's A Change is Gonna Come . . .
This is all uplifting and possibly even empowering for the people involved -- a children's choir from Ireland, Keb' Mo', musicians from parts of Africa, Argentina and India etc -- but aside from its worthiness I find it hard to get excited about it on any musical level.
Yes, it proves that (some) people of diverse cultures can find common ground in music -- didn't we know that already -- but other than that . . ?
Have a look, have a listen -- but remember this: just because someone passes on it doesn't mean they would happily club a baby seal and not support world peace, right?