"Where are the anthems of our youth?"

posted by Jeff | Sunday, April 21, 2019, 10:44 PM | comments: 0

As you know, Singles is one of the best movies of the 90's. Today I saw Bohemian Rhapsody, which follows the career of Queen. There's a band that wrote a lot of epic rock anthems, and in the movie they get crap for having long songs that "no one will play on the radio." For some reason this made me think of Singles, where Cliff is sitting complaining about all of the "beer and lifestyle music," and ponders, "Where are the anthems of our youth?" while his band (hilariously played by Pearl Jam) tunes him out and watches a PBS documentary on bees. Indeed though, where are the anthems?

My favorite songs, many of them, are what I would classify as anthems. "Sound" by the band James is an all time favorite. "Badman's Song" by Tears For Fears was an anthem. Janet Jackson's "Rhythm Nation," while not super long, was an anthem. The genres are all different, but they have something in common with Queen and classic rock songs, in that they build to something awesome and change. They're honest compositions and not the made-by-committee hook trash that is often popular.

I've come to realize that this is why I've been so into musicals the last couple of years. The good ones always have anthems, and they stand as cohesive works that you can lose yourself in for an hour or so (or two and a half hours, if it's Hamilton). Dear Evan Hansen has "You Will Be Found," The Prom has "Unruly Heart."

I've liked a lot of new music in the last year or two, but I wouldn't classify any of it as anthem material. I haven't bought a really great album (aside from musicals) in the last year either. I hope that changes soon.


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