x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Album review: Various Artists - One Love, One Rhythm

Skip the first track – the lazy official tournament song – and enjoy the rest.

Various Artists One Love, One Rhythm (Sony Music Entertainment) Three stars

When it was released, the tournament’s official song We Are One (Ole Ola) by Jennifer Lopez, Pitbull and Claudia Leitte triggered Twitter protests instead of excitement. It’s not that it’s totally awful – it just fails in what it’s meant to do. The chorus is lazy and, most glaringly, the tune has a whiff of unwanted melancholy. It’s more suitable as the tournament’s closing anthem as opposed to welcoming it. Good thing it’s the official World Cup compilation album’s first track as there is much better material on offer. Dar Um Jeito (We Will Find a Way) featuring Santana, Wyclef Jean, Avicii and Alexandre Pires immediately grabs you with its monstrous beats, EDM synths and sky-high chorus. Ricky Martin’s sun-kissed Vida triggers images of football-playing youth on Rio’s iconic beaches, while Leppo is a lovely bossa nova tune by the Brazilian artist Psirico. The solid material continues with the Aloe Blacc-led The World Is Ours and Shakira’s latest hit, La La La (Brasil 2014), which melds contemporary pop with samba rhythms. Skip the first track and enjoy the rest.