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Kiev749's avatar

What do you think of Musical groups changing their sound over time?

Asked by Kiev749 (2092points) June 6th, 2009

Personally i haven’t really found an instance where this turned out to be very positive for the band AFTER the change. More specificly, i would like to bring up Linkin Park. Their first album ((and when they operated under the same name as their first album,)Hybrid Theory), was full of mind blowing lyrics and powerful vocals either it be Chester screaming his lungs out or mike dropping rhymes. but with Minutes to Midnight, they’ve made drastic changes almost to a Post-Punk sound… What are your thoughts? Also their new song released, New Divide, sounds way too much like What I’ve Done… and Oddly enough New Divide is featured in the new transformers movie. Do you think we will ever see the Linkin Park of old or will we have to settle with Chester’s tamer side and pick up more Fort Minor to get our Shinoda fix… ( I love FM BTW)

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24 Answers

DeanV's avatar

Maybe you don’t like the band’s sound as much after the change, but they usually have progressed as musicians, have they not?

Think, Radiohead, Modest Mouse, The Beatles. Beck, Blur, Death Cab For Cutie, Keane, of Montreal, Red Hot Chili Peppers, U2, and even Coldplay have certainly changed their sound throughout their albums, and whether you like it or not, it certainly shows that they have become better musicians over time.

The Red Hot Chili Peppers are a great example. Lots of people may not like their newer stuff, but it’s still musical growth, in my opinion.

But that’s just how I look at it.

Kiev749's avatar

ok, RHCP, U2, and Coldplay were still to the most part able to stay true to their roots. I can pick up Blood Sex and Sugar Magic and still rock out to the same extent as if i were to play Stadium Arcadium. But the same doesn’t stand true when going from Hybrid Theory to Minutes to Midnight… hell, I would take Reanimation over midnight… They had an amazing thing going for them with HT and Meteora. Why fix something that isn’t broken?

filmfann's avatar

My example would be Green Day. They have really sold out on their last few albums.

dynamicduo's avatar

It’s much better than being the exact same time and time again… I’m looking at you Nickelback. Ugh.

I appreciate music being an expression of the artist, and I certainly don’t expect people to not change over time, thus I am OK with bands changing form as time goes on. After all, I’ll always have their older CDs.

Kiev749's avatar

nickelback sucked to begin with.

DeanV's avatar

@Kiev749: When you say “RHCP. U2, and Coldplay were still to the most part able to stay true to their roots.” I know what you mean, but I’m sort of going for a broader spectrum here. RHCP went from funk-rock type yelling “Suck my dick!” into a microphone to a more balanced rock band. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, I like both types, but It’s just more than a band changing their vocals from punk to ballads of sorts. The guitar style changed, the lyrics were different, the whole aura of the band changed, not just one part of it.

And Nickelback does suck.

Kiev749's avatar

@Filmfann oh god yes they did. Amerian Idiot was the point of their downfall. Now my father (52) loves them. That just isn’t right… He only used to get that excited by Van Halen for a new album. now he’s sunk to Green Day…

Going off of experience here, Linkin park went from screaming, to emo-lite. and any emo is horrible emo. And i dont think you could say they were ever a band known for their guitar solo/or drum solos. in all actuality, They haven’t done a drum solo in any song. Their Drummer, rob, hadn’t ever done a drum solo until the Projeck Revolution tour 2008 when the band left him on stage and told him to do one or the show ended. If anything they were always vocal heavy but now coming to a balanced band. But I miss the vocal heavy style they had, the Free mix by Hahn. Its what made millions fall in love with that band… and they are single handily destroying what made them.

Jack79's avatar

I cannot comment on Linkin Park as I am not familiar with their music. What I can say is that, in many cases, moving forward is the only way to go. People that have been singing the same music for decades simply get forgotten when what they have to say becomes obsolete (think of all the protest singers of the 60s), and adaptability to new challenges is therefore a must. Whether they manage to do it or not (without losing their original fan base) is entirely subjective.

Personally, I liked the Police but not Sting.

I liked Simon when he was with Garfunkel, even if Garfunkel never wrote a thing.

Wham were ok, but George Michael was never as good as he’d like to be. Go back to being a boy band, George (I know most people disagree with me there, but that’s my opinion).

Madonna actually became better over the years, but that wasn’t so hard. All she had to do was learn to sing a little.

Michael Jackson moved with the times, carefully and steadily. Regardless of his personal life (which is usually what everyone is interested in) he musically went the right direction.

Paul McCartney tried, but in my opinion did not really succeed.
George Harisson on the other hand was much better without the Beatles.

Queen without Freddy Mercury are about as good as a car without an engine.

U2 sounded better when they went mainstream and people understood their music. They’re good musicians who were wasted on experimentation.

Bon Jovi were always more or less the same.

Bob Dylan sounds better as the years go by, for the simple reason that he can now afford proper musicians who play all the instruments he can’t (and better productions overall).

Elvis Presley on the other hand sounded worse, because on top of his personal problems, he overdid it with the hiring and ended up with a huge band of which he was nothing more than a figurehead.

And I always hated Depeche Mode, so whatever they do sounds just as bad as it always did to my ears.

Disclaimer: this are all personal opinions, so don’t start flaming me. You’re allowed to disagree.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

We are so pretentious about music in America.

We like music until that music gets popular. Once a band starts selling music to a broader audience, we immediately classify them as a sellout.
Once a band does anything different than their first two albums, we starting complaining because we have a hard time adapting to change.
If a band does the same style more than twice however, we label them stagnant.

Bands are like everything else. They change through time. Some stuff people will like. Some stuff people won’t. If people don’t like it, it’s best to move on instead of moaning about how things aren’t the way they used to be.

Kiev749's avatar

@The_Compassionate_Heretic But what if too much change too fast? a gradual change is more accepted. because its easier to take in small doses.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

@Kiev749 Too much change? I don’t know what that is.
If a band changes to the point that you no longer like their music, then stop listening.
You cannot control the creative expression of another’s art but you don’t have to buy it either.

Kiev749's avatar

but its almost heart breaking to see what they made destroyed by a mere 2 albums

tinyfaery's avatar

If a band is around a long time this is just going to happen. People keep referencing RHCP. Personally, I think Blood Sugar Sex Magic was the sell-out album. They changed, I just happen to think it sucks.

Radiohead is another example. They are true artists. If you love music, you should be able to appreciate the music even if you do not like it, per se.

Then there’s Sonic Youth. I like their late 80s and early 90s stuff, and the new stuff, but I am not a fan of the in between years.

Darwin's avatar

If a band is around a long time and doesn’t change their sound, then they are either bored or boring or are reliving their glory days by singing the same 20 tunes night after night in cheap lounges.

Although could someone tell me what it took to take Def Leppard from British New Wave Heavy Metal to being featured and nominated artists on the Country Music Awards? It seems a most unlikely evolution.

dalepetrie's avatar

@Kiev749 – You’ve NEVER heard of musical evolution being a “good” thing for a band? REALLY? NEVER? Have you heard of a little 4 piece band out of a small industrial town in England….what was their name again…ah, yes….i think it was THE BEATLES.

sarcasm off

Bands should on occasion stake out a little new territory…I think when a band fundamentally changes their sound, yes…9999 times out of 10000 it’s a bad thing. But bands who do the same album over and over and over again some times never had all that much to offer in the first place. But it depends on a number of things. There are some bands I could mention (AC/DC, Motorhead, Slayer) who when you hear their new album, you know EXACTLY what to expect. Then there are some artists (The Beatles, Dylan, Elvis Costello) who try/tried new things as part of their musical evolution.

However some artists really do just plain sell out. I actually don’t agree that Red Hot Chili Peppers went south on Blood Sugar Sex Magic, I think their next album, One Hot Minute was when they became a complete and total suckfest. I think Metallica sold out on the black album. I think Bon Jovi has sold out again and again and again with every album since Bad Medicine. The Goo Goo Dolls sold out after A Boy Named Goo. I could go on for hours, but the fact is, those are MY opinions, someone else might like some of the albums I think were sell outs.

But I base my definition thusly…if the sound has changed significantly, and the music doesn’t sound as good, but it actually makes the band more popular than ever, that defines a sellout.

Kiev749's avatar

@dalepetrie ...I never really the Beatles… so what was crap to me before they changed, was still crap after. I mean come on, who cares if your in a yellow submarine or a blue one. really?

adreamofautumn's avatar

I would have to disagree with @filmfann I think my example would be Green Day as a POSITIVE. Their sound grew up as they grew up, in their 30’s now it would be absolutely ridiculous for them to be still singing them same teenage punk anthems of their early days. I feel the same way about the Ataris and other bands that start out young and wailing about their teen angst, there comes a time in everyone’s lives when they grow up and I think it’s respectable that they take their music with them in that transition. I am holding out hope that Blink-182 does the same on their new album, they all produced amazing music separately and I am hoping that they manage to produce something better than “what’s my age again” since they are now older and theoretically more mature.

filmfann's avatar

U2 hasn’t really changed in 30 years, and while their last album was crap, they have been doing pretty well with the same stuff.

dalepetrie's avatar

@Kiev749…the Beatles were a LOT more than Yellow Submarine…99.99% of whatever music you listen to know would not exist without the Beatles, just so you know.

Darwin's avatar

And actually I listened to the Beatles first US album just yesterday after not hearing it for many years. It was still great music, although much simpler than their later work.

Alleycat8782's avatar

I believe that Fallout Boy is one of these sell out bands. If you listen to their older stuff it has a more rock/punk sound compared to their recent pop-like sell out material. So disappointing.

jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities's avatar

You wanna know a band that has changed their musical sound over time?——> Thrice.

They started out sounding like this, went to this, which lead them here, and they now sound like this. I love their progression, and think it has definitely been a positive move for them.

the “here” link is my favorite song by them

tiffyandthewall's avatar

it depends on why they’ve changed it. if it’s because it’s what they want to do – it’s what they are into, it’s how they feel they’ve matured – then power to them. music is self-expression, and if that’s how they want to express themselves now, i’m going to have to get over it if i don’t like it.

filmfann's avatar

Linda Ronstadt and Joe Jackson seem masters at changing their style and sound, and still sounding great.

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