Thursday, June 03, 2010

This is England, and here we express our pride with a cheesy novelty single.

I’m not sure what the logic is? Whether it’s an attempt at shameless money-spinning behind the shield of charity, or a deluded belief that it will actually be good; despite how shocking it looks on paper? Whichever is the case, the fact remains that I have learned today that James Cordon and Dizzee Rascal are teaming up to record a World Cup song.

Now I am more into the World Cup than any other football tournament, mainly as I actually feel I can get behind the England team - because I’m, you know, English. However, there is one thing that persistently bugs me when every tournament rears its head, and that is that the vendors are willing to flog us tacky crap featuring the three lions on it. Whether it’s official or unofficial, people lap it up with gusto, so long as it purports to serve our beloved ‘Ingerland.’

It is unsurprising that celebrity world cup songs come as part and parcel with this trend, and over the years we have seen many pitiful attempts, which share in common: the butchering of a once-loved hit tune, a B – Z list celebrity and/or musician, and reams of cheesy England world cup romance.

So I suppose when you consider those archetypes, this new attempt looks better than most. Dizzee Rascal is still a very big deal in the music world, and James Cordon – despite the spectacular critical and ratings failure of his sketch show with Matthew Horne – is still a popular fixture on TV.

Despite our two high-profile ‘strikers,’ we have a sinister ‘manager’ lurking behind the scenes. I am of course talking of Simon Cowell. Now old SyCo has been generally going around recently and vocally giving a vaguely nationalistic ‘thumbs up’ to people and things he likes in the press. This is much like when he stuck his oar into the recent election and backed David Cameron for Prime Minister - despite living in America and having no stake in day-to-day life in Britain. Well, he’s at it again. And this time he’s assisting the oh-so important show of support for England in the World Cup campaign. Funny as I thought he was just releasing a tawdry charity single. Talk about a true patriot.

On my first listen to ‘Shout for England’ (based on eighties hit Shout, by Tears for Fears) I had to ask the question, is this what a genetic cross-hybrid of James Cordon and Dizzee Rascal would sound like? Although, with the monster sharing a split consciousness between Cordon and Rascal, and with both at different intervals seizing control of the creatures brain? It’s certainly the closest we’re going to get to that.

Also the backing tune has been cranked up with cheap sound effects of cheering England fans, and something sounding vaguely similar to the England supporter’s brass band accompanied by air horns. The eighties-esque keyboard chimes of the original melody are in there somewhere too, but it sounds like they’ve been trapped in a kind of musical purgatory, and just want escape their prison of mediocrity.

The only musical direction James Cordon seems to have been given is to shout, and that’s probably because the song’s called ‘Shout’. All of this while Dizzee raps: "Leave the wags alone, set aside your ego, we're tired of bragging about 40 years ago - which is sound advice, but considering so many people have been echoing this sentiment you have to question whether he’s just mirroring public opinion.

This song is horrible full stop, but of course that won’t prevent it from doing well of course. Not while the public are lured in by celebrity appearances, actually listening to Simon Cowell, and buying up anything with an England sticker on it like a moth to a flame. Also it’s for Charity, which just about excuses it, but it’s a cop-out of an excuse.

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