So, your favorite band just changed their sound?
Yeah, I’ve been there a time or two in my life. I remember when Radiohead ditched guitars for synthesizers, and I was there when Linkin Park did the same.
It almost seems to be the trajectory of all artists that they seem to leave their sound behind.
Taylor Swift ditched country for New York City and a synthesizer, the Beatles ditched A Hard Day’s Night for LSD, Korn took a heavy dose of dubstep into their sound, and Kanye went from praising Lamboghinis to praising Jesus.
It seems that no matter the genre, no matter the artist, the sound that you just absolutely love is fleeting. In this case, what can you do?
Well that is why I am here, friend. With my guide you will prepared for anything any artist can throw at you, whether that’s Aphex Twin releasing a country album, or Brad Paisley releasing a vaporwave album.
There are generally four paths one can choose when faced with your favorite artist changing their sound:
The Stan Method
What change in sound? You have always loved their sound. In fact, you love everything that your favorite artist does. Not just their music but what they wear, what they eat, where they go on vacation, etc. Obviously anyone who has any sort of musical taste knows that this, this, is the greatest album to touch the face of the Earth in human history.
Of course, some people might not be able to comprehend it’s greatness, and it’s your sworn duty to make sure these people understand that they are in all ways completely and totally wrong about everything, from their preference in music to having been born at all. Because they don’t know your favorite artist like you do, no one does.
You will go down and fight anyone who challenges your favorite artists very much apparently genius because they are your life. They are all you eat, sleep, and breathe. And with the proper pressure, the entire world will come to understand just a much as you already do.
The Hater Method
If the stan in method thinks your favorite artist’s new sound is the greatest noise ever uttered in the universe, you think it’s the worst. In fact, you just can’t stand it. The new album is worse than nails scratching chalkboard and that disgusting sucky noise armpits make combined. You just don’t understand how anyone could possibly sit through a play of that album, much less consider it real art.
You were there in the early days, when the art mattered and made real sense. Now, it just seems your favorite artist has sold out. Therefore, you must denounce this injustice whenever you can. Twitter and Facebook are not enough, no — you must tell all of your friends, family, acquaintances, and anyone who can possibly understand language just how much you hate that new album.
Due to this, you probably spar a lot on the internet with others who falsely claim beauty out of the horrendous noise. No matter, they will see, all it will take is greater will to convince them all.
The “Huh?” Method
Currently, you really have no clue what’s the deal with any new release that any artist has put out since, like, 2004. In fact, I’m not really sure why you’re here. Well, regardless, you are here, and made you’ve this far, so let’s dive in.
Quite possibly, you aren’t up with them young whippersnappers and all of their fancy gizmos. You might even live within a very nice bubble of music that you created for yourself within your streaming service of choice. Or, you have a solid playlist of exactly 150 of your most favorite songs, the last time you added one going back a few years.
You are certain that their one album is the absolute best, and promptly play it. Because even if you are behind on the times, you are positive that they will never put out anything close to as good as their debut. Their new stuff isn’t as raw — you already know that. You don’t even need to listen.
Oh, they put out a new album? What new album? The last I heard of Tame Impala was Lonerism.
By now, you probably realize this article isn’t really for you, and you are going back to play “Feels Like We Only Go Backwards“ for 118th time, but hey, I guess that’s all you really need in this cold world. More power to you.
Maybe check out some new music or read some articles while you’re here? No? Alright then.
The Explorer Method
Yeah, the new album isn’t necessarily your cup of tea. But, that one song is pretty sweet, though.
To be completely honest, you are perfectly fine with your favorite artist changing their sound. You appreciate that people grow and change, and it wouldn’t be cool or realistic to make people or artists stay the same. You take this opportunity to look at the music with an open mind and discover something along the way that will spur in a whole new direction of discovery.
You are changing and so is your music taste, and you are content with that. Whenever you talk with people about that artist or their new album, you’re honest without being disparaging. After all, it does take a whole lot of work to produce an album. Maybe you pick up the album a week, a month, a year later and realize something. It’s a lot better than when you heard it last. In fact, it’s actually really good now.
Just as that happens, a butterfly leaves the chrysalis, and flies into the beautiful sunset overhead, and you realize that change can be good.
Jaxon Silva is a Cal Poly Civil Engineering sophomore and KCPR staff member. He wrote the article. Hailey Honegger is a Cal Poly Graphic Communications sophomore and KCPR staff member. She created the graphic.