An anthem is a song which everyone that is supposed to know about and love, and often signposts a happy period of one’s life such as the summer. No one ever really hears about a winter anthem.

Music writers often use the word anthem interchangeably with the word ‘song’, often times to hint that the song might become an anthem, but in reality, only a few songs ever become anthems during a year.

Reviewing our collection of reviews and write-ups, anthems are more commonly used in hiphop reviews compared to indie or dance music reviews, and compared to regular english, anthems are used 10x more often*.

How does an anthem sound?

One would agree that Planet Rock from Africa Bambaataa in 1982 is an anthem:

As is I Can’t Do Without You from Caribou from 2014:

Seven Examples of Anthems

  1. “A-side opens with a post-apocalyptic anthem, which makes you want to sniff glue until all worlds break down.”
  2. “For the joy of all b-girls and b-boys, the Godfather of Hip-Hop and today’s best heavy funk band present their banging new anthem.”
  3. “Autotuned raps, pitch bending soft synths, and glitchy beats combine in spaced out anthems.”
  4. “Rolling breakbeats, catchy vocal snippets and a very groovy bassline are the core elements of this anthem that could rock any party.”
  5. “He takes the track to places where it’s never been before, by re-imagining the song into a breezy summer anthem where old school electric piano stabs, handclaps and a general feel-good vibes take centre stage.”
  6. “It’s a meeting of minds that produces an utterly seductive dancefloor anthem.”
  7. “The most clublike flamboyant anthems of his always seem like shrieks of beasts, dark insects and pagan birds displaying their feathers in a territorial way : a colourful celebration !! [sic].”

What is your personal anthem?


 *Comparing our techno review corpus compared to the EnTenTen Corpus, which represents a vast collection of American and British English usage.

Published by John Noi

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