Artist’s Interchangeability

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Jaden Kowal

The day has come your favorite artist released their anticipated new album. The first song begins and… it sounds absolutely like nothing you’ve heard before.

As consumers we anticipate products we love to be consistent- and music is no exception. Though sometimes we find ourselves frustrated because our favorite artists have the ability to switch up their sound and create a new vibe.

We sadly find this to be true often. One well known example is Tyler the Creator with his release of Flower Boy in the summer of 2017. While fans were expecting his edgy “emo-rap” songs heard previously in Goblin, Wolf and partly in Cherry Bomb; Flower Boy presented the polar opposite, a gentle and neat album. Countless others have tweaked their styles including Kid Cudi, Drake, Lana Del Ray, Twenty One Pilots. Is this really such a bad thing?

Think back to an essay you wrote from last school year. Does the writing style, word choice, and organization match what you are writing now? Likely the answer is no- you should hope to have growth in your writing for over the year you are taught new techniques for improvement. So why do we treat musicians differently?

We tend to forget that our favorite musicians are real people allowed to change! If the artist is eagerly presenting their work to the public they must be proud of it, so why discourage them? You would not want your essay from freshman year to represent you senior year! Change should be expected and honored in an artist. And listening to their new tunes can too be beneficial to us listeners: it gets us out of our comfort zone, improves our flexibility, and gives us insight to understand the artist on a deeper level.

What are your thoughts? Leave a comment! Who are some artists who have disappointed you in the past? Or perhaps opened your mind to appreciate new genres?