“what’s going on?” is a great song: it was great for our parents; it’s great listening still for us; and it’s especially great if you’ve got a cause. any cause, really. it could be aids, it could be helping victims of terrorism (or, to be more politically correct, victims of failed u.s. military policy in the mid-east). leave it to bono to realize: “bloody hell, it could be BOTH!”

and, oh yes, it is. “what’s going on?” features an a-list of stars, though, really, who let the guy from savage garden in?; if you couldn’t be on tribute to heroes, you’re on here. (if you couldn’t be on here, you’re on the montel williams (!) helmed “we are family”; God knows what michael jackson is doing with his “what more can i give?”; even elvis is reaching from beyond the grave, releasing a single of previously released material such as “if i can dream”) an incredible array of talent — the backstreet boys to nas; britney spears to nelly — take on an incredible song and the results are…well, incredibly bland. a fellow more churlish than myself would say: “surely, the victims have been through enough!” it’s no “voices that care” but it’s still better than “hands across america” — can someone remind me of what that whole thing was about? — and i hope it sells lots and lots of copies and gives equal help to the victims of 9/11/01 and the victims of aids in the african sub-continent.