Instant Karma: The Amnesty International Campaign to Save Darfur

Music review by
Denise Duval, Common Sense Media
Instant Karma: The Amnesty International Campaign to Save Darfur Music Poster Image
All-star compilation with an activist agenda.

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 2 reviews

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The parents' guide to what's in this music.

Positive Messages

Themes of parental abandonment on "Mother," political frustration and discontent on "Gimme Some Truth" ("I've had enough of reading things/By neurotic, pig-headed politicians"), social status and alienation on "Working Class Hero," and disdain for organized religion on "God."


"They hurt you at home and they hit you at school" on "Working Class Hero."


Mention of the word "masturbation" on "Give Peace a Chance" and "making love" on "(Just Like) Starting Over."


"Working Class Hero" features the word "f---ing" two times.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

"Cold Turkey" is about exactly what you think it's about -- getting off drugs, with lyrics like "I wish I was dead" and "Thirty-six hours/rolling in pain/Praying to someone/Free me again."

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this multi-artist compilation was recorded to promote awareness of the conflict in the Darfur region of Sudan and net proceeds from CD sales go to Amnesty International. Every track is a cover of a John Lennon song (during his solo career) by modern-day artists such as Green Day, U2, Black Eyed Peas, Christina Aguilera, Snow Patrol, and more. Some talk about safe themes like world peace, love, fatherhood, and second chances; others deal with more grown-up ones like alienation, abandonment, disdain for religion, getting off drugs, and political conflict. One song features the word "f--ing" twice.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byrobdado2 April 9, 2008
Teen, 14 years old Written byKaty0 August 9, 2009

Three stars for the covers, five stars for the originals

Sure, it's for a good cause but the covers really can't match the amazing quality of the original versions.
The overall messages are good. While the... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old April 9, 2008

good stuff for good cause

Love John Lennon Love The Beatles Love Green Day, U2, Jack Johnson is good, R.E.M does great. Flawless stuff on the cd. Sure to save Darafur

What's the story?

INSTANT KARMA: THE AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL CAMPAIGN TO SAVE DARFUR is quite a musical buffet -- a 23-track double-album covering John Lennon's solo work. Artists range from Grammy winners, to indie rock favorites and young songstresses. And where there's an album for a cause, there is Bono; Disc 1 opens with U2's high-energy cover of "Instant Karma." Other standouts: REM does an excellent cover of "#9 Dream" and The Flaming Lips do justice to "(Just Like) Starting Over." Ben Harper's rendition of "Beautiful Boy" is heart-wrenching, with Lennon lyrics about his young son Sean: "I can hardly wait to see you come of age."

Is it any good?

With so many tracks, there are bound to be a few weak interpretations, such as Corinne Bailey Rae's "I'm Losing You," mostly because she sounds a little bored. Yet even if you find the notion of Christina Aguilera covering "Mother" or a reggae interpretation of "Give Peace a Chance" utterly horrifying, give this CD a chance. It's a good album for a good cause, and a perfect way to introduce kids to the music and lyrics of a legendary musician who had a social conscience.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what's happening in Darfur. Why should individuals, families, and communities in other countries get involved with the conflict and genocide in Darfur, and what they can do to help? Families can also talk about music's role in healing. Why is John Lennon's music so relevant to Amnesty International's cause? Although most of the songs on the album were originally recorded in the '70s, how do they fit in with what's going on in the world today? Also, some songs on the album appear multiple times, covered by different bands. Which band's version do you like the best? Why?

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