One of the most taboo subjects you can hear in the world of rock is out of stock. The minute you hear your favorite artist go to the rock radio format is usually the time you need to wrap it up with them and move on to something new. Then again, is every “sale” really that bad?
Don’t get me wrong, there are definitely bands that went pop that had nothing to do, and we have the scars to remember that too. Making pop is a subjective term though, and some of these beat changes may have been just an honest look at the band’s mindset at the time. So, by going through the bands listed here, we’re going to see where their heads were when they were making these projects and whether or not they deserve the reputation of being musical punching bags in recent years.
If it’s any comfort to you, some of these artists also managed to get back on track afterwards, returning to their more hard rock sound and reminding us why they kicked so much ass in the first place. It’s nice when they’re able to correct themselves, but for some of the unlucky few, that was the point of no return.
Okay, there are probably millions of Muse fans out there who probably saw this coming from a mile away. Even when Matthew Bellamy’s songwriting has been compared to Radiohead, you’re not going to confuse Knights of Cydonia with anything from Thom Yorke anytime soon. Somewhere after the end of the Drones regime, Matt pulled out the keyboard and opted to cover the entire next album in an 80s pastiche.
That’s not to say Simulation Theory is a sold-out, skin-to-heart album. There are a lot of iconic Muse moments here, like the explosive sounds of Get Up and Fight and the dance energy that comes from a song like Pressure. For the rest of the track listing, you can hear Matt leaning a little too heavily on the dystopian side of lyrical subject matter and is much more interested in putting so much sound into the mix of a song like Propaganda.
It’s not like Muse wasn’t able to dip her toes in the e-pool either, since they already had it running a few years prior on 2nd Law. While the first time felt like a bold left turn for them, this sounds more like songs that would make decent background music on Stranger Things.