Artists unite to help victims rebuild
If you're a Little Monster or a Belieber, rejoice! Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber have appeared on the same album for the first time. Songs for Japan is a charity album for the earthquake and tsunami-ravaged Japan.
A collaboration between the music industry's major labels, EMI, Sony, Universal and Warner, 38 artists, including legends like Elton John, rock groups like the Foo Fighters, country acts like Lady Antebellum, and pop icons like Pink and Bruno Mars, have all waived their royalties for songs on this CD. Proceeds will go to the Japanese Red Cross Society to help fund relief efforts and rebuilding in the hardest-hit areas.
The double CD is a wonderful mix of modern hits and classic tracks. However, it doesn't feature any original music, except for the Starsmith remix of Gaga's Born This Way.
Despite this, the album is a great compilation of inspiring tracks, ranging from slow, reflective jazz to upbeat, energetic pop. It kicks off with a call for listeners to Imagine (John Lennon) people uniting together in the face of tragedy to give the victims a Shelter from the Storm (Bob Dylan), even from Miles Away (Madonna).
With meaningful lyrics such as 'This road we're on, you know it might be long/but my faith is strong' in a Better Life, Keith Urban paints a picture for a better tomorrow. And like the rising sun depicted on the Japanese flag, the final track Sunrise, by Norah Jones, has references to how after the storm has passed, a fresh beginning can be had, bringing hope to the victims.