Wave goodbye to ‘MMMBop’, kids, Hanson are back with a cleaner, more mature release (you would hope so after nearly twenty years in the game) that could just send them into the charts once more. That’s if the charts want something that sounds like Maroon 5 circa 2002 – ‘Juliet’ (complete with lyrical references to the play) and ‘Tragic Symphony’ scream Songs about Jane. But then, who didn’t have a soft spot for ‘This Love’?
You’ve got to hand it to the three brothers; they certainly know how to write a good pop song. Anthem is packed with jangly hooks and sing-your-heart-out choruses that will stick in your head longer than the music of Ricky Martin and Taylor Swift’s hypothetical love-child. If that wasn’t enough, Hanson have chucked in a bunch of cheesy, swoony ballads that wouldn’t look out of place with a sea of waving lighters as a backdrop – ‘For Your Love’ could be taken straight from a Backstreet Boys record. I’m not complaining.
‘Lost Without You’ and ‘You Can’t Stop Us’ provide the albums high points and although track 13 ‘[Silence]’ comes across a little pretentious for a record that is pop down to its roots, you cannot deny that the Hanson brothers have done well with this one. Even if all they’ve achieved with Anthem’s memorable melodies is to make their way into the hearts of a new generation of pre-teen girls, credit must be given for their ability to do so once more.