Since the remake of “We Are the World” premiered during the opening ceremony of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games on Feb. 12, critical reaction has been decidedly mixed on the remake of the 80s classic. The Washington Post politely called it a “less-than-stellar remake.” Many singled out the weak opening by pop newcomer Justin Bieber. “ ‘We Are the World 25 for Haiti’ has all the pitfalls of a Hollywood remake,” groaned the New York Times’ Jason Pareles.

A three-minute video clip aired at the beginning of the Olympic’s opening ceremony which featured many music icons including Tony Bennett, Celine Dion and Barbra Streisand. The original song, written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie, was recorded to draw attention to famine in Africa. The new version was re-recorded earlier this month to raise money for Haiti after the devastating earthquake in January.

The official music video for “We Are the World 25 for Haiti” has been viewed almost 82,000 times on MTV.com and six million times on YouTube. But, with comments pouring in from viewers, the general consensus seems to be disappointment mixed with gripes that it’s just another ploy for the new pop tweens, like Miley Cyrus and the Jonas Brothers, to generate even more publicity. "This song is a perfect snapshot of today’s music culture," wrote one user on YouTube. "That’s why it sucks so much in comparison to the older one."

The greatest difference from the original is the addition of a rap segment, featuring Wyclef Jean, Lil Wayne, Kanye West and T-Pain. Some have singled out their use of autotune for derision. “It’s one measure of the slippage between the original and the remake,” adds Pareles. Despite the critical barbs, the song just hit #1 as the most downloaded song on iTunes. What do the critics know?  –JENNIFER TSE

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1 Comments

  • Joe Galbo
    Joe Galbo on

    New one's better, end of story.

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