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Instant Karma

I don't believe in killing. Whatever the reason." - John Lennon

By any account, "Instant Karma: The Amnesty International Campaign to Save Darfur" was a considerable undertaking. With over fifty artists and thirty record companies coming together to create this project, the result is an astounding 23 John Lennon covers, blanketing a diverse range of styles and tastes.

Amnesty International is no stranger to initiating humanitarian action between music fans and activism. With their Make Some Noise" initiative, they've initiated campaigns as diverse as the Belarus! Campaign to petition the freedom for political prisoner Zmitser Dashkevich and 'Control Arms', a campaign calling for a Global Arms Tade Treaty. With this effort, the intent to bring 'The Campaign to Save Darfur' to public awareness has thankfully garnered even more press to highlight the injustices of the Sudanese government against their own people. Woefully it is a tragedy far from over, and one that John Lennon surely would have been championing had he still been alive today.

The Artists and the Songs

CD 1

U2: Instant Karma
R.E.M.: No 9 Dream
Christina Aguilera: Mother
Aerosmith feat. Sierra Leone Refugee All-Stars: Give Peace A Chance
Lenny Kravitz: Cold Turkey
The Cure: Love
Corinne Bailey Rae: I'm Losing You (live)
Jakob Dylan & *Dhani Harrison: Gimme Some Truth
Jackson Browne: Oh, My Love
The Raveonettes: One Day At A Time
Avril Lavigne: Imagine
Big & Rich: Nobody Told Me
Eskimo Joe: Mind Games
Youssou N'Dour: Jealous Guy

CD 2

Green Day: Working Class Hero
Black Eyed Peas: Power To The People
Jack Johnson: Imagine
Ben Harper: Beautiful Boy
Snow Patrol: Isolation
Matisyahu: Watching The Wheels
Postal Service: Grow Old With Me
Jaguares: Gimme Some Truth (Spanish)
The Flaming Lips: (Just Like) Starting Over
Jack's Mannequin feat. *Mick Fleetwood: God
Duran Duran: Instant Karma
a-ha: No 9 Dream
Tokio Hotel: Instant Karma
Regina Spektor: Real Love

The Highlights

Biggest Thrill:

- Regina Spektor's understated and subtly sublime take on "Real Love";

Biggest Dissapointment:

- The blandly reworked and ultimately uninspired rendition of "Give Peace a Chance", a song that by all rights, should have been nearly impossible to get wrong. Sadly, even a band as technically great as Aerosmith did.


- No one can do John Lennon's music as well as John Lennon.


- Having said, this serves as generally true for most creators and their music, and as far as tibute albums are concerned, this showcases enough talent and great music to be well worth the cost, particularly as all proceeds are directly funneled into efforts to save Darfur.

- Two CD's jam packed with some of Lennon's greatest tunes;

- A multitude of artists covering said hits including U2, Aerosmith, R.E.M, Green Day, Snow Patrol, Flaming Lips and Regina Spektor;

- Environmentally friendly packaging (no jewel case);

- The knowledge that your purchase supports a most righteous cause. And you get some pretty decent music for your collection, to boot.

Two ways to acquire:

Send Amnesty International a $50.00 gift and download the album for free;

Buy it now directly from Amazon.com for , with all proceeds going towards the "Save Darfur" cause.

Lisbeth Cheever-Gessaman

Human Rights Site @ BellaOnline
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