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Hope for Haiti
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that HOPE FOR HAITI is a collection of tame songs by various high-profile artists, including Beyonce, Shakira, Justin Timberlake, Jay-Z, Bono, Sting, and many more. Although some of these musicians have made edgy music in the past, they all put their inoffensive feet forward on this album, performing songs that lack graphic language and mature content.
What's the story?
In the wake of the devastating earthquake that hit Haiti in January 2010, various actors and musicians banded together for a benefit telethon called HOPE FOR HAITI. The album that resulted from the telethon is filled with 19 songs that range from acoustic versions of originals by the artists -- such as Beyonce's "Halo" and Madonna's "Like a Prayer" -- to classics that are particularly suited for the occasion, including "We Shall Overcome" sung by Bruce Springsteen and "Lean On Me" performed by Sheryl Crow, Kid Rock, and Keith Urban. While this diverse collection of tunes runs the style gamut, most of the songs share the same lyrical theme: strength in the face of adversity. In light of their inspirational intent, it's no surprise that the songs steer clear of offensive language and adult themes.
Is it any good?
While all of the artists who perform on Hope for Haiti clearly poured their hearts into their performances, some songs shine especially bright. Justin Timberlake's plaintively beautiful rendition of "Hallelujah," which he performed with Matt Morris and Charlie Sexton, pierces right through to your core, as does Jennifer Hudson's powerful version of "Let It Be." Other highlights include the cool original "Stranded" written for the benefit by Jay-Z, who performed the single with Bono, Rihanna, and The Edge, and the cover of "Rivers of Babylon" done by former Fugee and Haiti's native son, Wyclef Jean.