War Child - 'Hope'
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Album Review - War Child - 'Hope' - (London Records)

A worthy concept this, the proceedings going to the real victims of the campaign fought in our name. The Mirror is the main sponsor and as such, the content is profoundly anti-war. I never thought I would have any feelings of respect for Piers Morgan, but his and his papers highly risky stand against that immoral conflict in the face of jingoistic jibes from The Sun has imbued me with much. Bush and Blair truly have reaped the whirlwind.
But noble sentiments do not good records make as any trip down the memory lane of charidee recordings well illustrates. Does this fall into the same trap? Unfortunately it does, yes, how could any album featuring the orange peril George Michael do otherwise - but more on him later. What is that noise you ask? It's knives sharpening.

Album Review - War Child - 'Hope' - (London Records) @ www.contactmusic.com

This is an album whose contributors fall into two general categories; those with some kind of credibility (which doesn't necessarily make them any good, all things being relative) and those pop muppets enlisted to shift units to the masses that are asses. It is a strange mix; there can't be many collaborations upon which both Tom Waits and Ronan Keating feature. And as a listening experience, it doesn't work.

Travis deliver a pleasant, inoffensive melodic strum-a-long, no surprise there then, David Bowie a pleasant slice of string backed sadness, and Spiritualised the musical equivalent of a quiet resigned sigh. The highlight is probably, and I assure you completely unexpectedly, none other than the teen princess of 'punk', 10million selling Avril Lavigne. Her rendition of Knockin' on Heavens Door is so simple and stark and emotive that the part of you, which cries to Oasis' 'Don't Stop Crying your Heart out', will be activated.

That is the best of it; the worst comes courtesy of Messrs Michael and Keating - you wonder how they can look at themselves in the mirror at night, oh silly me, they don't cast any reflection, do they. The formers stab at heartfelt is utterly appalling, it sounds like a Chris De Burgh b-side, nauseating, written between sun bed sessions. As to the gravel voiced oirish fake, I will present a scientific equation to illustrate. "Another little baby is born in the ghetto" + soulful backing singers + I am an oracle and I will now reveal the truth, to you the benighted masses + deliberate + I did this for the publicity and to ease my nagging conscience = a four letter word, beginning with c and ending in t.

In conclusion, I suggest you contact War Child and set up a generous standing order. There is no need for more innocent people to suffer.

Alistair Hann



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