Anthem for the Forgotten by Paul Marotto is a powerful track that details the immense challenges of addiction and mental illness, as well as the acute pain of loneliness. Although it is a cliche to talk about the isolating effect of modern life, I think it is pertinent to mention it anyway because it is not changing. This song does a great job of exposing that introspective melancholy felt, looking back on lonely years.
The track has this piano part that establishes the melody from the start. It has a nostalgic timbre that feels relevant to the theme of self-reflection. It also has a level of uneasiness created by the dissonance throughout the track that feels connected to the themes, expressing the pain at the core of the message.
As the song develops, other attributes evolve its texture. The distorted, deep bass elevates the composition dramatically, underscoring the regrets and anguish explored in the lyrics. It recontextualizes the sadness as anger through an abrasive and grinding timbre. The guitar solo in the latter half is another excellent touch that allows for greater exploration of the melody while not sacrificing the tonal cohesion of the track. The line just before it, “fuck it,” feels authentic to the way someone going through these challenges would contextualise their emotions.
The lyrics themselves walk the line of being poetic and expositional at the same time and do a great job of conveying the sense of life passing the speaker by. The line “alone on methadone” so early in the piece establishes the tone and narrative fantastically. I’m impressed with the song’s ability to tell a story. Most of all, this track stands out because of its honesty and rawness. You can tell Marotto is not holding anything back in this one. This candid attitude makes it incredibly powerful.