I just had a change of sound

Music is forever evolving. Therefore, it would be foolish to expect artists and bands to stick to one specific style throughout a career that has the capability to last for years. However, it is important to try and understand the motive behind a bands’ shift in sound. Is it because they are truly interested in exploring areas in which they weren’t previously involved? Or is it a much more cynical marketing ploy enforced by the labels in order to sell more records?

The 1975 have always been known to keep us guessing when it comes to their music and their newest releases are no different. While Love It If We Made It is not too dissimilar from their previous singles, TOOTIMETOOTIMETOOTIME incorporates a club-like beat alongside lyrics which are much less thought-provoking than the band’s previous releases. Could this track be an indicator that they’re willing to conform to recent, successful music trends that make the charts?

Upon the release of Tranquillity Base Hotel & Casino earlier this year, Arctic Monkeys were both criticised and praised for the album, which couldn’t sound more different from their previous ones. It could be argued that Arctic Monkeys are chameleons when it comes to music, able to successfully execute a wide array of genres without losing the touch that has made them so successful over a long period of time. They have not stuck to a single musical formula throughout their career and are yet to see any negative effects of doing so. Can it really be that much of a bad thing? Bands such as Fall Out Boy and Panic! At the Disco have repeatedly been called out for abandoning their ‘emo’ influences in favour of a more pop-like sound. Should these bands really be defined as ‘sell-outs’, or are they just responsibly following current music trends considering that the pop-punk genre is not as popular as it was in the 2000s?

If Fall Out Boy had released Infinity on High in 2018, it arguably would not have been as commercially successful as it was when it was originally released in 2007, given most people’s lack of interest in that type of pop-punk today. An artist should be able to adapt their sound without being accused of being involved in a marketing plot aimed at selling records; it has been shown that such a change can be the result of a genuine evolution, and not for any ulterior motive.

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Emma-Louise Beattie

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October 2021
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