Rhythms fior the World Cup

Barry C Chung
Barry C Chung |

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"Official" must be the most overused word in Listen Up!: The Official 2010 FIFA World Cup Album. Of the 14 tracks on the album, four are promoted as official something or other: the official anthem, the official song, the official mascot song and the official Asian song.

Once you get past the marketing, however, you'll be satisfied with the music. The album has a strong jungle vibe, which highlights the Africanness of the music and event.

With an all star line-up that includes Shakira, R. Kelly, Wyclef Jean, Matisyahu and John Legend, the album has a nice blend of sounds from a mixture of genres, but all with an unmistakable tribal edge.

Shakira lends her signature voice and teams up with South African locals Freshlyground in the official theme song, Waka Waka (This Time for Africa), which will be performed prior to the final match of the World Cup. It is fitting since the song is very upbeat and will pump you up - along with the competitors - before the final kick-off.

The album closes with No.1, dubbed "The Official 2010 FIFA World Cup Asian Song", by Korean boy band 2AM.

The song lacks grit and feels completely out of place. It's really a shame, since the rest of the album - which sticks to an African theme - is fairly decent. Well, that's just my unofficial two cents.