We are the World Haiti 25 — whose presence at the top of the singles chart is as damning a refutation of democracy’s plausibility as you’ll ever see — is so awful that it nearly prompted Jay Smooth to shutter his website.
Jon Pareles reviews the song, and notes the chasm in vocal ability between the women on the track and the male participants.
And the men, well, the lineup unfortunately speaks for itself. Justin Bieber in place of Lionel Richie’s opening verse. Josh Groban for Kenny Rogers — actually, that’s a toss-up. Simperers like Adam Levine (from Maroon 5) and Enrique Iglesias appear rather than Stevie Wonder. Usher openly mimicks Michael Jackson. And there’s an Auto-Tuned triumvirate: not just Lil Wayne but Akon and T-Pain, all in a row. (Mr. Bieber also sounds slightly computer-assisted, or maybe I’m just suspicious.)