Voices from the FIFA World Cup [Syco]

Because no sporting event is complete until it has a soundtrack, Voices from the FIFA World Cup was released just before the start of the 2006 tournament. Containing three official World Cup cuts (The Official Song, "The Time of Our Lives," by Il Divo and Toni Braxton, the 2006 FIFA World Cup Mix of "Hips Don't Lie/Bamboo," by Shakira featuring Wyclef Jean, and The Anthem, "Celebrate the Day," by Herbert Grönemeyer with Malian duo Amadou & Mariam), the album should ostensibly be the perfect accompaniment to any fan as he experiences the anxiety, elation, and almost inevitable heartbreak associated with watching his national team try to make its way through the most elite soccer competition in the world. But besides the aforementioned "officially recognized" songs, every other track on the record seems better equipped for a post-tournament memorial highlight reel. Since when did Kelly Clarkson's "Because of You," Annie Lennox's "Why," Toni Braxton's "Un-Break My Heart," and Barbra Streisand's "Woman in Love" inspire the great confidence and necessary rowdiness associated with the sport and needed to propel a team and its fans forward? Perhaps the creators of the album wanted to brace themselves and other soccer fans for the pain of inevitable defeat (after all, only one country will win the championship) by including songs that reflect the utter desolation that comes from a hard loss, or instead want to focus more on good sportsmanship and resilience (Billy Joel's "Just the Way You Are," Whitney Houston's "One Moment in Time") than good, old-fashioned, in-your-face, jubilant boastfulness (something by Queen?), but in doing so, they fell far short from the goal that an album like this should attain. Maybe Voices from the FIFA World Cup is a more politically correct and athletically accurate album, but is it one that anyone would actually want to listen to as they wait for the PKs? Probably not. ~ Marisa Brown

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