On the eve of the 2012 Olympics, our worst national nightmare has come true.
"I Believe" is making a comeback.
The song made infamous by Nikki Yanofsky during the 2010 Winter Olympics has been re-imagined by the Tenors (formerly the Canadian Tenors). The song, which was played so often in 2010 that even CTV anchor Lisa LaFlamme got tired of it, has been unfortunately revived, and the Victoria-based pop-opera group doesn't seem to understand why everyone else in Canada hates the song so much.
"Sometimes you'll hear a song played on the radio that's played 12 times a day, and that's just part of getting it into people's systems," said the group's Remigio Pereira in a telephone interview this week from Berlin.
"We love what was done before, but part of it was it was just an opportunity to bring something new, to breathe new life into the song. And hopefully people will ... hear the melody and recognize it, but then they'll be like: 'Hey, this is something different.'"
Alas, a quick listen to the new version of the ubiquitous song reveals that no, it doesn't sound that different. It just sounds like it's been performed by four men instead of a teenage girl.
The rest of the travesty is all there: the emphasis on singularity in what's supposed to be a unifying national event; the faulty grammar, the simplistic words and chorus that make one yearn for the halcyon days of the "Call Me Maybe" craze. Not to mention the inherent faultiness of the entire concept: if, as the song says, "the time is right now," and that time was in 2010, then how can it also be "right now" in 2012?
The biggest problem with "I Believe" is it's just not endearing or catchy enough to withstand the thousands of times CTV will hoist it on our poor ears over the next two weeks. It's not a jingle; it's a full-blown, mediocre pop song, and repeating the "hook" over and over doesn't make it a jingle. As one commenter at the Toronto Star said:
"In the span of 2 weeks, CTV managed to make this song as annoying as the Marineland theme song."
Therein lies the problem - one which CTV, and the Tenors, don't seem to understand.
Clifton Murray laughed when asked how they felt about tackling a song that most people felt they had heard quite enough by the end of the 2010 Games.
"Sure, we worried a bit about the whole burnout issue, but in the end, the song meant so much to so many Canadians, we knew it just had to be sung again."
No, it didn't. It really, really didn't.