Albums of 2019: Changed their Sound–in a bad way

28 Dec

 

These albums are towards the bottom of my 2019 countdown, because the artists went and changed their sound.  Obviously, to last over time, bands and solo singers need to grow and adjust with the times.  But changing your whole vibe so it’s unrecognizable makes it sound unfamiliar and alienates fans (exception:  Taylor Swift).  I switched it up and wrote this list from best to least favorite of the ‘changed their sound’ category of my countdown list.

Avril Lavigne:

OK, she probably had the 2nd best singing of the year (after Brandi Carlile inside the Highway Women and feat on the Zach Brown Band track), but it wasn’t HER.  I mean, she’s lost any punk edge she ever had.  And I usually don’t like when artists completely change their sound.  Melissa, is this you? But this is still good–in a totally different way.

-”Dumb Blonde” I especially liked how the notes get higher at the end of each phrase.  Skill is happening. It’s cheeky and included a nice rap breakdown.

-Crush” It doesn’t remotely sound like Avril and I kept thinking Spotify was up to its old tricks including a suggested song in the middle of my mission.  I thought Alanis Morissette was singing. But it’s good singing.

-”Tell Me it’s Over” It’s short.  It’s repetitive, but it’s still good.

-”Bigger…”  Wow mostly pop, with no edge.  Melissa strikes again.

-”I Fell in Love…” This haunting delivery was the whole thing.  Good lyrics and better high notes. The singing is really excellent on this album.

 

Black Keys:

They lost their hipster-vibe, cool factor that they used to have going for them.  Something about it just feels a little lighter than before. Maybe less percussion or base?  I can’t put my finger on what changed.  That depth and heavier sound is missing and the album lacks because of that.  Now they sound like anybody else–not a stand out.

-”Shine a Little…” Like the claps, but their sound is just a little lighter and not as cool as it used to be.

-“Get Yourself Together” It’s catchy, yet repetitive rock.

-Sit Around…” This one sounds a little bit like a throw back to CCR.

 

X-Ambassadors

Normally one of my favorites, but it’s like they lost themselves.  I couldn’t even tell it was them, The whole thing sounded like a boring version of Tracy Chapman-meh. 

 

Of Monsters and Men

This album went the way of Mumford and Sons.  Which exploded in much the same time frame.  Yes, yes folksy stuff is not really the sound in 2019, but there are ways to update and mutate your vibe without losing it.   I can see evolving and growing and adapting to changing times.  But they changed their sound so much it is unrecognizable. Instead of the folksy stripped down they had before, this was slick, heavily produced, polished, and computerized.  Nothing they were known for. They didn’t keep anything! It’s an entirely different band, as far as I’m concerned. And not for the better. We don’t need to conform to one genre.  There needs to be different genres, different unique sounds. I can’t understand why you would bow to pressure and stray from your roots, your influences, and former sound.

-The most substantial track was the first, “Alligator” which sounded epic and had an 80’s rocker chick vibe.  

-“Wars” has an ABBA sound, with (what’s that?) tambourine?  The ONLY folksy element I heard on the entire album.

-”Waiting for the Snow” sounds like Bon Iver (very experimental and almost electronic) with Sara Bareilles singing.  

-”Sleepwalker” was low key, with some chorus backing sounds that sound like Taylor Swift’s pop.

 

 

 

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