Monday, April 14, 2008

In the Name of Love

“Paul and I wanted to develop an easy entry point for the growing global community where they could get more involved and learn something deeper about Africa. It’s really a focus on the key successes of several regions, and the African artists who originate from these areas. It’s our goal for the public to learn more about all the good that’s happening in Africa . We are trying to garner excitement about the culture, in addition to drawing people toward the struggles of Darfur , etc. This is a project which celebrates Africa !”

-Shawn Amos, In the Name of Love producer

Say what you will of Bono and U2's music, whether you like it or not, you can't argue with the band's involvement with the world around them, the charitable work they've performed, and the money and awareness they've raised for issues of all types.

In the Name of Love: Africa Celebrates U2 is an album that serves two purposes: to pay homage to Bono for his efforts, and to showcase the talent of some current African artists, both known internationally and others who are not. In pursuit of these goals, twelve African artists (both solo and groups) have taken twelve U2 tracks (some well known, others not so) and interpreted them through their particular cultural prism. What comes out are covers that retain some familiarity while at the same time boldly jaunting off into original territory.

Besides the music, another appealing aspect of the album is the liner notes, which include background information on each artist such as their country of origin, its date of independence, population size, main export, major issue facing the region, recent actions taken to improve its current state, and relevant websites with additional information. Here's the page for the first track below, an interpretation of Mysterious Ways by Angelique Kidjo, which is performed multi lingually.

Each artist has their own page in the liner notes, allowing the listener to connect with more than just the sounds from the album. Not only is this a wonderful collection of music, but a portion of the album's proceeds will directly benefit The Global Fund. For far too long Africa's issues have been ignored and unresolved. Educate yourself, buy the album, support change.

Visit the album's official website.
Visit The Global Fund's website as well to educate yourself.

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