Wednesday, June 2nd, 2021

Martin Garrix ft. Bono & The Edge – We Are The People

Petition to make Shakira the only one allowed to do theme songs for football tournaments, y/n?


Katie Gill: Generic-ass sports songs peaked with “Waka Waka (This Time For Africa)“; I’ve got no idea why generic-ass sports songs continue to exist. And I’ve got no idea why they continue to spew the same trite sentiments of victory, triumphing over adversity, highlighting the strength of the athletes, etc. And I’ve also got no idea why this one has such remarkably weak lyrics compared to all the other generic-ass EDM artist ft. singer who desperately wants a paycheck sports songs before this.

Mark Sinker: Guest pundit Bono on being handed the UEFA EURO2020 update results: “I ain’t reading all that. I’m happy for u tho! Or sorry that happened!” Meanwhile no more perfect fit for Garrix’s practiced corporate roll-out will be found than The Edge’s infinite guitar-glue, so epic and tension-free, like a world-class sports competition stripped of logistics, scoreline and meaning.

Scott Mildenhall: What could be more fresh and vibrant than a song that’s gathered dust since April 15 2019, when Bono switched on the news, saw a cathedral on fire, and decided to rework his “Dublin to Rotterdam” line? By cleverly pronouncing it “Notherdam”, Martin was none the wiser, and the job was done. Admittedly alterations have been made since then — this video shows the producer consorting with an orchestra, yet they remain disappointingly absent. While Garrix’s little riffs have just the right feel for unobtrusive interstitial purposes (keyword: “corporate”), everything else is flat even by tournament standards. The Edge is fine, but he’s no Pitbull.

Will Adams: Two weeks out, I clearly still have Eurovision on the brain, as I can’t hear this has anything but an entry submitted the year after “Heroes” won in the desperate hope to recapture its success that failed to make it out of the semi-finals.

Wayne Weizhen Zhang: This inspirational ballad sounds so generic and indistinguishable that when I listened to it on YouTube, I instinctively looked for the “Skip Ad” button on in the bottom corner before realizing I’d already arrived at the song. 

Thomas Inskeep: This is so basic, so simplistic, so empty, it makes “Beautiful Day” sound like “Marquee Moon.” And is that overly heavily treated guitar lick supposed to be The Edge? My god, how embarrassing. Up with People might even be edgier than this.

Nortey Dowuona: We are not the people, Bono, we are the citizens. The middling piano and dull horn stabs under the smushed, poorly made over drums (with The Edge somewhere, I guess) are pretty mediocre. But Bono actually sounds like he likes what he’s singing, and even his chorus is soaring. Unfortunately Martin isn’t a good enough producer to buoy it, and his drop is absolutely pathetic.

Andrew Karpan: The record takes on a curious quality of spiritual uplift, divorced from its purposeful electronic din, manufactured to be heard in massive stadiums. This is Bono’s fault, in part: even spouting hollowed out shells of Gen X leather jacket profundity, his voice still mysteriously commands the stillness of a preacher. In this new context, the messages, dusted-off from a year in the closet, carry new meaning and it turns out that he is telling me that it’s okay, right now, to simply be because, as it happens, we are the very people that we’ve spent so long waiting for, I think?

Ian Mathers: Come back, “Things Are Different” by Picture This, all is some things are forgiven.

Edward Okulicz: “A heart that hurts is a heart that works,” eh? If only Juliana Hatfield could sue these morons. While I’m immune to the idea of football as a uniting force, this seems like a particularly clumsy invocation — I’m not sure if Bono is in the mind of the fans, the players, or a corporate sponsor, or is trying to make this universal even outside football, but it’s just too clumsy and earnest to hate, which makes me really want to hate it. Settling for feeling nothing will have to do, though.

Vikram Joseph: Inevitably, Bono phones in a series of overcoming-adversity wall-art cliches, but this nonetheless does what a decent football tournament song should do. The flickering guitars and sunburnt synths are suffused with nostalgia for past summers, triggering memories burnished and sanded down with the passage of time. The thing is, if you’re a football fan then summer tournaments are mile markers in your life; the recollection of watching the World Cup Final in my aunt’s house in India and hoping the power didn’t cut out (1998), having to sit a GCSE exam just after seeing England knocked out by Brazil (2002 — I still remember the BBC’s elegiac closing montage set to “Stop Crying Your Heart Out”), being packed into a bar at 1am after a day of drinking in the sun as England capitulated to Italy (2014), and so on and so forth down the long, bittersweet wormhole of lost summers. Martin Garrix and The Edge understand that it doesn’t take a great deal of effort to tug on those heartstrings; as such, “We Are The People” could very conceivably have been the official song for Euro 2000, and it works.

Jeffrey Brister: Ten years ago, this might have moved the needle, though it would have been overshadowed by “We Found Love”. As it stands now, it’s just a treacly, dated anthem that doesn’t even have the good sense to slap hard.

Alfred Soto: Fealty to communitarian boilerplate or delusion keeps Bono in arena belter mode. He’s been most comfortable seeing masses, not persons, and U2 have offered commensurate backdrops. Martin Garrix and The Edge give him Morning Joe bumper music.

Harlan Talib Ockey: There’s a Tantacrul video where he posits U2 are the progenitors of “nothing music”, a vacuous and inert little subgenre used when uncontroversial industries need to stimulate some light emotional catharsis in their commercials because the alternative would be complete silence. I was initially skeptical, since I still have fond memories of The Joshua Tree, but there’s really no other label for “We Are the People” and its mindless corporate dreck. Instrumentally, this is essentially a set of Samsung ringtones stitched together, jangling nondescriptly to kindly remind you that a friend texted without causing anything stronger than faint amusement. The lyrics are cloying, platitudinous inspiration-core; their most interesting moment is when they almost grab onto the image of the Notre Dame fire (?!) before realizing how brutally morbid that is and jerking back into the sea of empty inanities. Bono, fittingly, seems to have finally completed his transformation into an android, with his few attempts at Vocal Timbre™ sounding like they were carefully calculated for the optimal degree of heartstring-tugging. It’s all immensely creatively bankrupt, but as boring as it may be to listen to alone, this is “nothing music” at its finest. The ads will be brilliant. Don’t you like soccer? We do.

Samson Savill de Jong: Look, I get that any official tournament song is going to be the most inoffensively bland version it can possibly be. But I feel like this is an argument against the idea of even having an official tournament song at all. Football is not, and never has been, about coming together in a show of unity. It’s about competing with others to figure out which one of us are better and bragging about winning forever. Songs for individual national teams can lean into that whilst exposing the inherent silliness of it that makes sport wonderful, but tournament songs can’t, having to pretend like a literal competition makes us all on the same side. The lyrics are obviously and necessarily drek, but at least make the song fun to listen to. “We Are The People” can’t even give us that: slow bits with nothing but Bono singing inanity (i.e. emphasising the exact wrong thing) followed by uninspired EDM chords that you’ve heard a thousand times before. The success of a football song should be judged on whether you can imagine 1000s of boozed up people singing along in a stand, and this is as far away from that as it is possible to be.

Reader average: [8] (2 votes)

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2 Responses to “Martin Garrix ft. Bono & The Edge – We Are The People”

  1. I’m sure Andrew Rayel or DubVision or Nicky Romero is gonna come in in like 2 weeks and remix this song into something listenable, so for now: at least it’s not “Pressure” from a couple months ago.

  2. “London to Berlin” > “Dublin to Notherdam”

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