Is it Good or Bad When a Band or Artist Alters Their Sound?

It has been quite some time since I tackled a new feature piece, but coming up with ideas and then writing something that is (what I hope is) worthy of reading can be time consuming. Yet, something that has been on my mind since, well, I've been following bands is when they change their sound from record to record. Is this a good thing or a bad thing? Does it mean bands are selling out? Alienating their fan base? Or should the listeners be more open-minded when it comes to these artists? I'd like to explore that within this piece and hopefully can hear some of your thoughts in the comments below.

When a band or artist first appear they have a particular sound that gets them their fan base and once an album is release there also tends to be a certain expectation for when a sophomore album is created and distributed for consumption. Yet time and time again when I read user reviews or comments on these next records following an artist/bands debut, people complain that they do not sound the same. I never truly understood that concept or complaint from people. Personally, out of all the bands I consistently follow, I would not be supporting them if every album was essentially the same thing. Why would anyone want that? Of course, a complete change might be a bit odd, but even then if it is for the creativity and the experience of something new to the artist at hand, then go for it. Now, it might not work out and it truly can alienate die hard fans, but if you are truly a fan you'll enjoy the experimentation in sounds.

I find many positives in these musicians trying new things like for instance what Kanye West did from his standard rap, to experimenting with autotune and singing on 808s & Heartbreaks, or how Brand New started out as a pop/punk band but transitioned into the indie/alt world. Both of them evolved or tried something new and still had pretty solid results. But maybe I'm more open-minded and would hope avid music fans would/should be the same, I mean it is also the reason so many genres are shared on this blog. I think sometimes when these musicians end up with more popularity, they also obtain more resources and industry people that help polish or generate ideas that can push a sound to new levels. Example of that to me would be like listening the collections of Kings of Leon or My Chemical Romance.

Yet, negatives can certainly take hold, but these are the artists/bands that are just following trends to try to be relevant or completely change to fit the mold of what is a radio hit -- this is where I have no problem as to why people should complain. It's lame and really is not proving any interest in creativity, just following where the most money can be made. I'm not saying that these artists/bands shouldn't try to get some radio attention and make a profit, but it's those artists that (none particular in mind right here) go from making let's say indie rock to producing EDM tunes because its become a popular niche.

Again, maybe it's just me or because I've been running this blog that lets me appreciate developing sound from bands, but I see mostly good in artists and bands altering or experimenting with their music. Can it hurt some of their fan base? Absolutely, but for those of us open minded we will give it a shot and appreciate the art. Thoughts?


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