Anthem of the Peaceful Army: A return to the 80’s

Greta Van Fleet, an American rock band from Michigan, released a new album titled “Anthem of the Peaceful Army” Friday, Oct. 19. The album has 11 songs, many are five to six minutes long. The music itself is fun and energetic as the electric guitar is allowed to take center stage in most of the album’s songs. The album takes no risks in its composition or writing, leaving the listener feeling like something is missing.

Most of the song lyrics follow the basic structure of verse, chorus, verse, with engaging vocabulary to keep the listener dancing along, at least for the first time.

The songs I enjoyed the most were “Lover, Leaver,” “You’re The One” and “Brave New World.” The music seems to harken to rock bands of the 1980s, yet there is never a point in the songs where it takes that old structure and makes it into something new, or even gives it a unique spin.

I listened to this album while cleaning and it helped the cleaning seem like less of a chore, but there was nothing inspiring enough to keep me coming back. 

Honestly, trying to pay attention to this album and take it seriously can feel like a bit of a chore as the songs are not distinct from each other to tell them apart. As I tried to focus on the words and find a deeper meaning to each song, I found that most had little emotional depth. It sounds harsh, but if you put the whole album into a YouTube playlist without any pauses, I doubt you would notice when a new song had started.

There is talent in Greta Van Fleet, as the lead vocalist, Joshua Kiszka is the best element that gives the music its feeling of nostalgia. I’m someone who is completely new to the band and I haven’t heard any of their other songs, so for existing Greta Van Fleet fans this album is filled with things that are the band’s style. The music is nothing more novel than something I would hear playing in the background of a TV show like “Supernatural” or even an ad for life insurance.

For me, music needs to have more than a basic lyric to chorus structure with music played in the same key with only small variations. While there is nothing wrong with the album itself, there was nothing terribly remarkable either. The music nor the lyrics are memorable or reflective. It’s good for a few minutes of turning your brain off and getting some work done, but it probably won’t lead to reflecting on your life or making you feel hope or even despair. Mostly, “Anthem of the Peaceful Army” will leave you feeling same as you did before you listened to it.