When artist’s release new songs, most fans receive the content with joy, excited about more music from bands’s and singers they love. But almost all ways, there is at least a small group with a familiar complaint: “I liked the old sound better!”
A recent example of this is the response to the singles off punk band Paramore’s new album, After Laughter. Hard Times and Told You So hold five point five and three point eight percent dislike ratio on YouTube, respectively. When compared to earlier hits Misery Business’s two point four ratio and Ain’t It Fun’s one point nine, the disparity becomes clear. People don’t appreciate the new sound, and they are making this clear. The comment’s section’s are even worse.
Even more already mainstream Lorde isn’t escaping this. Comments sections on her new songs contain comments about missing her dream pop, and dissing the pop sound of Green Light and the slower ballad Liability, despite great critical reception. And she’s not the only one seeing this. Artists feeling this small but still significant backlash include Halsey and Fall Out Boy, artists doing nothing but exploring a new sound that they want to make.
This trend happens more to artists who are outside the mainstream, who’s listeners have come to expect a certain more independent sound. And when these artists come out with songs that lean more mainstream, anger arises in dedicated fan’s who want music that sounds more like previous releases. And to that, I ask: why do you deserve that?
Artists make art because they want to make art. (That applies to all artists, not just ones that make music.) The fact that they allow fans to consume it is a privilege, not a right. If you do not like a newer sound, you are allowed to not listen. You can find dozens of other artists that sound like what you’re looking for, and you can leave these artists alone.
This does not mean you are not entitled to an opinion. It means that artists are entitled to make art and have it not be dissed simply because it is not what you wanted to hear. Pigeonholing artists to one genre helps no one and hurts creativity, discouraging the blending of genre’s into what the band wants to make. And at the end of the day, that is what matters: what the band want to make.