In the Name of Love Review
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It’s hard to believe that four musicians from Ireland could have such an impact on the world—but throughout their three decades in the spotlight, the lads from U2 have used their music and fame to raise awareness and support for numerous causes. In celebration of U2’s music—and in the spirit of the band’s concern for the world around them—comes a new compilation of U2 covers, entitled In the Name of Love: Africa Celebrates U2.

In the Name of Love is a collection of 12 of U2’s songs, performed by artists from around Africa. The album opens with Benin-born Angelique Kidjo’s version of “Mysterious Ways” and continues to Malian musician Vieux Farka Touré’s haunting “Bullet the Blue Sky,” with each artist offering his or her own take on one of U2’s songs. The collection is filled with songs from throughout the band’s career—from older songs, like “Seconds” (performed by Sierra Leone’s Refugee All-Stars) and “Sunday Bloody Sunday” (performed by Guinea’s Ba Cissoko), to new songs like “Sometimes You Can’t Make It on Your Own” (performed by South Africa’s Vusi Mahlasela).

Some of the songs on the album are performed in English—with an African twist—while others are performed in the artist’s native language. Some, in fact, are almost unrecognizable. And, as a pretty die-hard fan of the Irish rockers, I’ll admit that I didn’t instantly fall in love with every one of the tracks on the album—because I’m just too attached to the original songs. Still, though, the majority of these artists’ reimaginings of the songs I love are incredibly well done. Many of them feel completely natural when performed with African rhythms and sounds. And some—like the South African Soweto Gospel Choir’s breath-taking rendition of “Pride (In the Name of Love)”—are so beautiful and so heartfelt that they brought tears to my eyes.

In the Name of Love isn’t just a great album filled with U2 covers by African artists; it’s also doing its part to make the world a better place. A portion of the proceeds will benefit The Global Fund, an organization dedicated to fighting AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria.

Even U2 purists like me will be moved by many of the covers on In the Name of Love. But it’s more than a U2 cover album. It’s also a chance to get to know 12 talented artists—and to enjoy a style of music that you may not have been exposed to in the past. It’s a great compilation that’s contributing to an important cause—and I recommend picking up a copy.

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