“Hope for Haiti” soundtrack showcases musical talents singing for a cause

Sam Thomas

As the world caught word of the devastating earthquake in Haiti on January 12, networks around the world tuned into television’s efforts for earthquake relief.  Stars aligned at the “Hope for Haiti Now” telethon headed by George Clooney to raise a little bit of hope and a lot of money for the cause.

Most of the performances were new versions of other artists’ songs; for instance, Justin Timberlake’s performance of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” which was calming and inspirational (much unlike Timberlake’s normal style).  However, some of the performers such as Jay-Z wrote songs solely for “Hope for Haiti,” and these songs were also impressive.

Though this soundtrack was undoubtedly for a good cause, a few of the songs were either unoriginal or did not live up to the performance of their original artists.  Most of the artists performed very strongly, but Shakira’s performance of “I’ll Stand by You” was almost painful to listen to because of her shaky voice.

I had no idea that altering one word in a song could change it so much; however, Beyonce accomplishes making her song “Halo” corny and uncreative by switching a phrase from, “baby, I can see your Halo,” to, “Haiti, I can see your halo.”

Despite these two underwhelming tracks, the remainder of the soundtrack is filled with uplifting songs.  The best among these were Coldplay’s “A message in 2010,” and Stevie Wonder’s, “A Time to Love/ Bridge Over troubled Water.”

The concert took place on January 22, and the telethon raised $58 million.  But the amount of money continued to increase as the soundtrack was released on iTunes, with 100% of the proceeds for both the telethon and for the soundtrack going toward the relief efforts in Haiti.

The soundtrack is a replica of the set list  performed at the telethon, and there were 25 singers and bands who contributed to it.  Among these performances were Madonna, Wyclef Jean, Dave Matthews, Bruce Springsteen, and artists from various different genres.

The telethon was a success and most of the songs on the soundtrack are inspirational and easy to listen to.  Considering the great cause and the great music on it, this 19 song soundtrack is certainly worth it’s low price of $7.99.  The “Hope for Haiti” compilation of artists is broad enough for a lot of mainstream music fans to be satisfied.