Why Pitchfork’s Greta Van Fleet Review Is Bullshit


Pitchfork recently gave Greta Van Fleet’s debut full length album Anthems for the Peaceful Army a scathing 1.6 review.

Jeremy D. Larson’s Pitchfork review states, “What they lack in self-awareness they more than make up for in rigid self-consciousness, failing to make any fun or campy choices to lift these songs out of a morass of the worst impulses of Rush and Cream. The back half of the album alternates between the ignorable and unforgivable, from what is (a somewhat fun stomper ‘Mountain of the Sun’) to what should never be: ‘The New Day’ features Josh singing about watching a child grow in a garden, seeing her bloom so she can ‘be a woman soon.’ None of this lysergic-sexual thinking is within the band’s grasp, they are just swatting at crusty platitudes and copy-pasting old mythos hoping no one notices that they are too small, too inept to even put forth one meaningful, specific, original idea.

But for as retro as Anthem of the Peaceful Army may seem, in actuality, it is the future. It’s proof of concept that in the streaming and algorithm economy, a band doesn’t need to really capture the past, it just needs to come close enough so that a computer can assign it to its definite article. The more unique it sounds, the less chance it has to be placed alongside what you already love. So when the Greta Van Fleet of your favorite artist finally lands on your morning playlist, spark up a bowl of nostalgia and enjoy the self-satisfied buzz of recognizing something you already know. It’s the cheapest high in music.”

Alternative Nation reporter Lauryn Schaffner is a huge fan of Greta Van Fleet, and wasn’t too pleased with Pitchfork’s review, so she has recorded a video in response. Anthems for the Peaceful Army debuted at number 3 on the Billboard 200, and it was the top album in its first week of release when it comes to physical sales.