Seen on ONTD & linked by _allshallfade:
The new Hanson video for the song The Great Divide:
You can download the song on iTunes, and all the proceeds will go toward AIDS research/funds in Africa.
Now, this video to me seems a direct rip-off of Bono's [Red] campaign and Sarah McLachlan's World on Fire music video. In fact, it's so similar it feels like plagiarism. I used to be a huge Hanson fan, and I know they're good people with big hearts. Yet, I am certifiably irritated by this sudden desire to go over to Africa, play with the kids, and write a blase song to fight AIDS on the oh-so-fashionable charity wagon.
Why are you upset, Shelby? Are you really this cold-hearted and calloused? Why could fighting AIDS ever be a bad thing?
It isn't, that's not what I'm saying. It's just to me, myself, and I this feels more like a publicity stunt than genuine social concern. Let's face it, the closest Hanson has come to trying to be political and/or crusade for social justice is the song This Time Around, the vaguely patriotic die-for-your-beliefs song off the album of same name released in 2000. [Their most recent album Underneath also shows no hint of social activism. It's tragic and consumptive at best.] That certainly doesn't pave the way for this profound decision.
Furthermore, it feels kind of pretentious to me. Hanson doesn't have near the fanbase it once did, and they don't have the years of clout that other musicians and even other celebrities do. They don't have the track record, at least not that I'm aware of. Also, they don't have the publicity engines to really get this to take off. Google "Hanson charity," or even check Google music releases with the same search. You will find nothing. If you google Hanson AIDS it will try to redirect you to Hansen AIDS. Even the AIM blog doesn't show up. [It's early yet. Just released on the 28th, but why are no news organizations covering it? Why isn't their publicist pitching this to everyone and their dog?] You won't even be able to find the video linked above if you search YouTube unless you type in "Hanson Great Devide," which most people wont. Whatever they will make, while helpful, will be miniscule compared to the billions and billions of dollars already spent and continuing to be spent on research. I can't state enough that it never hurts to help, but I'm still... not convinced. Especially since even in the iTunes store, unless you type in the words "hanson the great divide" you're probably not going to find it. It's buried at the bottom of the "the great divide" search underneath scores of songs by music greats like Willie Nelson who just happen to have used the same title for a song or album. If you type in Hanson, you won't find it in the supplied song list. If you click them as a specific artist you'll find it... in the bottom right hand corner... after you scroll down.
Musically, The Great Divide, though patronizing (especially when coupled with the video), isn't very convincing. Isaac tries to pass it off as "new gospel" here, but it isn't anything like gospel. It's a three chord bore with lame lyrics even Zach admits they didn't really think through. With You in Your Dreams has more emotion and musical variety/originality. Hell, Yearbook is more powerful. We know they're capable of more. This new song just feels rushed and half-assed to me. Watching Isaac sit there with his fancy headphones and mac laptop surrounded by local kids ... It's like Madonna adopting a baby from Malawi after Angelina began building her multi-cultural family... it feels cheap, false. I realize that's a harsh comparison, but I can't help it.
Yes, every little bit helps. Yes, it's a good deed... but the road to hell is paved with good intentions and I feel that the Hanson brothers' intent wasn't solely to help those in need, but also an attempt to help themselves get back on the map. Go ahead and kill two birds with one stone, but they didn't give their all with this one. And honestly, if they really feel so strongly, I personally feel they should have.