We all know to never look a gift horse in the mouth. But what if that gift horse is a grating, self-congratulating display of celebrity?
It's great that celebrities are raising money for Haiti. It really is nice of them. Regardless, the new "We Are The World" is unlistenable, unwatchable and completely puzzling. Consider this version's lineup: the original "We Are The World," written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie to benefit African famine relief, brought together a veritable slate of 80s icons. The new version's lineup contains, just to name a few singers in the zillion-person ensemble, the aggressively irritating and omnipresent Will.i.am, New Orleans' prodigal son (and dentists' worst nightmare) Lil Wayne and perennial Twitter trending topic Justin Bieber. And there's also that guy who bounces around at awards shows (Jamie Foxx), some American Idol contestants you may vaguely remember, a Jonas brother or two, and the insane cackling of Wyclef John. If you haven't seen it yet, and want to risk the PTSD that can occur as a result, watch it here.
But, just as many suspected we were approaching the precipice of a terrible music-induced apocalypse (actually, we might still be), something like this comes along. Here are some great, though not as ubiquitous as the Black Eyed Peas, musicians getting together to record a charity single in an unpretentious manner. The Pogues' Shane MacGowan, The Pretender's Chrissie Hynde, Nick Cave and — hey! — Johnny Depp are some of the artists in this soulful cover of Screamin' Jay Hawkins's "I Put a Spell On You." It's eminently enjoyable, and we can hope it'll help rebuild Haiti — and also, the concept of "music" that "We Are The World 25 for Haiti" tore asunder.