If you're like billions of people, you know that Thursday marks the beginning of the
And from a music fan's perspective, the Cup's placement in Brazil couldn't be a better fit. Why? Because Brazil is not only a soccer powerhouse; were there a World Cup of Music, odds makers would be picking the country to land in the finals.
From the smooth, expansive feel of modern samba as popularized by
Which is why
Pitbull's song, which features
And it's there from beat No. 1: the most obvious sound of Brazil, those percussive tones that combine the Bahia rhythms that drive the annual Carnival coupled with typically Pitbull-ian barking and pounding. That riveting, immediate vibe is so infectious as to be virtually tyrannical, and as the heartbeat of the country, its citizens are understandably protective. Pitbull harnesses it as the anchor, and for shorthand authenticity adds in the chant of "Oye oya!" a Brazilian trademark during matches. But the whole thing feels like a shortcut.
As one Brazilian composer told Billboard: "In the case of this latest song, the seasoning has its right amount of cliches and stereotypes usual with commercial music."
Even lazier, "We Are One" is sung in English and Spanish, with only a scant touch of Portuguese near the end. Of course Brazilians would find the song hard to love. It's not even written for them to understand.
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