Stranded (Haiti mon amour)

Stranded is a song that Bono and some dude I’ve never heard of wrote after the earthquakes that devastated Haiti a few years ago. It was recorded by Bono, Jay-Z, and Rihanna and released as a charity single to raise money for the victims. I read a comment from someone who said good for them, creating a new song for the situation versus taking an existing song and trying to warp it into some kind of meaning for the tragedy. That’s true, but the flip side is that a) being created so quickly it’s not very good, and b) when a song is dedicated so specifically to a certain time or place then once that event moves out of the public consciousness then so does the song. After all, when was the last time you heard this song being played? More to the point, when was the last time you heard anything about Haiti? Although funnily enough as I wrote this I was watching the tv show 12 Monkeys and the people in that episode were in Haiti. I assume there’s still an epic disaster going on, but it isn’t in the news. Too bad they don’t have any oil for us to fight over.

The U2 involvement wasn’t just Bono, Edge also played guitar on it. There seem to be many more collaborations between Bono and Edge than any other pairing of the band, e.g. Bono and Larry or Edge and Adam. The rhythm section don’t get too involved in outside projects, I have found it hard to even find any. There were a couple of songs on someone’s album (I forget who) where they played in the background, but not enough to review them. On the other hand I can get a good half dozen bits out of Bono and Edge working together.

Interesting that in the actual song Bono takes very much a back seat to Jay-Z, and even when they did the live performance for the Haiti benefit, it was Bono and Rihanna sharing the backing role. How hard is it for Bono to do that, you don’t often see him stepping back from being the lead in anything.

Not a big fan of this song, honestly Jay-Z’s music doesn’t excite me that much - although I do like the live version of Sunday Bloody Sunday he came on and sang with U2. Rap is just something I never got into, which may be just as much a commentary on me as it is on that music. There are many genres of music that I don’t have any interest in - country is another - and it takes something like U2 being involved to pique my interest. Besides, the song is very bland, fairly generic guitar from Edge (as I said earlier, one consequence of trying to put a charity song together is that you usually don’t have much time to let it cook, so it ends up being pretty shallow), and it has fairly blah lyrics as well. 

Finally, I have to get another religious comment in. Bono once again slams religion, talking about the people waiting “for hands to help, not just to pray.” Yep. We have a theme here, probably going to run all year long.

My rating of Stranded (Haiti mon amour): 2 / 10