This preview piece on U2’s next album got me wondering about how bands always seem to tell the media their new album is a lovingly crafted effort inspired by great acts and is their best work ever. Has there ever been a band who admits their work is just more of the same, but you’ll like it? Or they half-assed the recording? For that matter, has any band outright slammed their new album?
Heard an interview on the radio a while back with the lead singer of AC/DC. He told a story about how he was once asked how they could make 16 albums that all sound the same… he indignantly replied “Hey, that’s not true! We’ve made 17 albums that all sound the same!”
I might have the numbers off in the above anecdote, but the idea remains - he fully embraced the fact that they deliver the same thing over and over to their fans, and they do not apologize for that. The fans don’t seem to mind either.
When the near-classic lineup of Yes reformed in the mid 90s, they put out the two Keys to Ascension albums, lost Wakeman again, then released the horrible Open Your Eyes. The music was actually written for a Chris Squire/Billy Sherwood project, but Yes wound up recording it. I remember reading, at the time, that Steve Howe was less than impressed with the album, and was distancing himself from it. No cite, though.
You’re forgetting the other two important statements: “With this album, we’re exploring new directions” and “With this album, we’re returning to our roots”.
“With the help of Rick Rubin.”
Big Black placed a sticker on its EP Headache specifically warning that it was not as good as the Atomizer album.
I meant to add: you never see these two statements together. You see the “new directions” statement if the band’s old formula is losing steam, and you get the “back to our roots” thing if they made a left turn and fans didn’t like it.
Srsly, lots of metal acts say that. It’s not like anyone wants to hear Lemmy incorporate Slavik balalaika textures into his new age trance music, and he knows that. Metal bands by and large know what their fans want to hear (i.e. “more of us”) and they try to deliver the goods.
And they were right!
Not Jazz Odyssey!