Tuesday, June 12th, 2018

Nicky Jam ft. Will Smith & Era Istrefi – Live It Up

Why don’t we close out the day with a quick pick-up game, yeah?


Joshua Minsoo Kim: A manufactured FIFA Anthem with artists, including Diplo, whom the organization see as having enough collective name recognition to deliver a song about unity. The lyrics are hackneyed, the personalities are constricted, the triumphant horns are hollow. It is what it is.

Ramzi Awn: Pop stars have been “living it up” and “turning it up” for over a decade now. The call to arms has lost its impact.

Iain Mew: There’s a bit just before Will Smith’s pointless entrance when the song doubles down on the dub and goes into a loop that seems ready made for playing in celebration, complete with a charmingly obvious “oh oh oh” chant, and it all gets a bit exciting. There’s no way that it’s going to displace “Seven Nation Army,” obviously, but as aims for Official Song Of The FIFA World Cup go it’s a long way from the worst. 

Will Rivitz: I really appreciate FIFA having a sense of humor about its World Cup 2018 theme music — though I don’t love the organization, I do find it endearing that they’d release the Weird Al Polka Remix of their song before the song itself comes out. Can’t wait for the original mix!

Nicholas Donohoue: Like being concussed by a soccer ball: overwhelming, confusing, pounding, and for some reason you hallucinate strange things like Will Smith being sapped of all his charisma and patented ’90s charm.

Scott Mildenhall: Will Smith simply doesn’t sound like Will Smith here, and maybe that’s because he doesn’t when he isn’t centre stage, maybe introducing some-or-other TV show/film/TRÂ-Knox. Still, the song itself sounds exactly like a FIFA Official Celebration Anthem™, to the point that its message of unity trips itself up and becomes intriguing. At various points there’s reference to “every nation under the sun,” “one nation” and crucially, “one flag.” Naturally, this can only be the FIFA flag, above which the sun always shines. As the smiling face of corruption, “Live It Up” is in an agreeable tradition. It has to be said, though, that it’s hard to imagine these acts looking quite as happy performing it as Buranovskiye Babushki do with their effort.

Ian Mathers: The fact that I can’t decide if I want this to be just a little bit more Russian, or actually not Russian at all, does not bode well.

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