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Listen Up! - The Official 2010 Fifa World Cup Album

2010-06-11 08:47
If you were confused between all the soccer songs out there claiming to be the “real deal”, then: Listen Up! The Official 2010 Fifa World Cup Album is the OFFICIAL real deal.

First of all, the majority of artists on this album do not hail from our Rainbow Nation. There, I said it; the cat is out of the bag. If you were expecting an all South African cast, get over it. After all, the “World Cup” is for the whole world and not just by South Africans for South Africans. So maybe it’s better to see this collection as an opportunity to celebrate soccer through the music of different international and South African artists (well, that’s how I see it anyway).

Album opener, “Sign of a Victory”, is the official world cup anthem and mixes R. Kelly’s signature “I Believe I Can Fly” R&B vocals with the angel-like chanting of the Soweto Spiritual Singers. Sounds weird? It’s not. It’s actually very catchy and succeeds in highlighting the “African” in R. Kelly’s African-American roots. “Waka Waka” features our very own internationally known Freshlyground and a Columbian She-Wolf who cannot be named (you all know who I’m talking about!). This song could’ve had great potential if the “one who can not be named” was actually given the chance to show off her vocal prowess instead of just her booty shaking appeal.

Elsewhere American Jewish reggae star, Matisyahu gangs up with rapper Nameless to produce a Bob Marley like anthem about hope for a new peaceful era free from violence. There’s also worker’s anthem “Shosholoza”, which gets a “2010” makeover courtesy of adult contemporary nightingale Louise Carver , Idols hunk Jason Hartman and some real SA rapping from Deep Level. It’s a winner, evoking the same national pride felt when we won the 1995 Rugby World Cup. Another definite attention grabber, which you’ll hum against your will, is Jpre’s “Ke Nako” featuring Wyclef Jean and Missy Elliot’s protégé, Jazmine Sullivan.

Apart from international VIP party starters, this album also features Proudly South African tenor Siphiwo, who died in May this year, singing “Hope” which features a message from Madiba, no less. Siphiwo was supposed to perform at the opening concert in Soweto and would’ve given everyone the chills with his powerful operatic tones: a truly great loss.

And what would an album be without the Soweto String Quartet? Playing our national anthem, “Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrica” on their heavenly strings, The SSQ makes you want to stand up, hand to your heart and sing (even those of us who can’t) our national anthem with gusto!

So, despite the mix ‘n match of artists, which leans more towards the international audience, this album is catchy and entertaining and it will make you feel proud to be a South African, or an African for that matter.

Is this collection of football anthem representative of South Africa or not? You’ll have to decide. But who doesn’t like a glass of cola with their plate of traditional Bobotie?

What to read next: Kalahari


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