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Album Review: One Love, One Rhythm – The Official 2014 FIFA World Cup Album

2 min read

One Love, One Rhythm is the official soundtrack for the FIFA World Cup tournament to be held in Brazil later this year. One may wonder why a football tournament needs an official compilation; perhaps the mascots will dance to it? I am unsure. However, One Love, One Rhythm features original new music from Adelén, MAGIC!, Ricky Martin and Pitbull to name a few. With such an eclectic mix of artists, will this album manage to capture the essence of the FIFA tournament?

FIFAOne Love, One Rhythm opens with the theme song for the tournament, We Are One (Ole Ola) by Pitbull featuring Jennifer Lopez and spanish artist Claudia Leitte. This track features all of Pitbull’s typical song problems: A disconnect between the verses and chorus and far too much repetition. J.Lo and Claudia’s verses are better than Pitbull’s attempt at rap, but ultimately cannot save this tune which, to be honest, is a little unworthy of being the theme song for the entire tournament.

The first half of the album consists of songs that are pop/dance numbers infused with exotic flair. Vida by Ricky Martin brings an exuberant energy, whilst Aloe Blacc’s The World Is Ours features astonishing vocals alongside a feel-good vibe. Tatu Bom de Bola is sung entirely in Spanish but flatlines, and Shakira’s La La La is a catchy dance number, but her renowned voice becomes overshadowed by the melody and features too many ‘la’s’. These songs may be catchy, but are quite ‘wishy-washy’ and easily forgettable.

One Love, One Rhythm also throws some curveballs. It’s Your Thing is performed by 1960s band The Isley Brothers, and is a complex, soulful jazz number with layers of percussion in the background. The song has a very cool vibe, but is completely different to the tracks beforehand. Whilst variety is essential to an album, It’s Your Thing is very left of centre from the other tracks offered. Tico Tico shows this perhaps even more so, as it is a 1950s style track. Predominately classical piano playing, you can imagine classical tap being performed to it. This obviously does not fit with the previous pop/dance numbers, but neither does it really communicate these ideas of belonging and accepting differences.

Overall One Love, One Rhythm as a collective album is a bit of a mess and it doesn’t seem to know what message it’s trying to convey. The tracks  will definitely work well separately on the football fields at the tournament, but when listening at home are sure to make its audience question why these songs were lumped together in the first place.