the Little Red Reviewer

My favorite band’s new album sucks (but can I still call myself a fan?)

Posted on: July 22, 2019

So, you’ve loved this one band for years. Years i say!  you’ve seen them in concert, bought the merch, back in the day you bought the physical albums (and the overpriced imports and live albums!!).  You told everyone you knew how much you loved this band.

 

and then their new album came out!

 

and you bought it!

 

and it was  .  .  .  .

 

pretty shitty, actually.

 

You listened to it a bunch of times, in hopes it would grow on you, and the only thing that grew was the hope that the band would go back to their old, wonderful music style. Yeah, yeah, you know they’ve gotten experimental lately, and every artist goes through those stages, but maybe next time they’ll experiment in a direction that you like more?

 

can you still call yourself a fan of theirs, if you think their new sounds sucks?

 

here’s what I’m really getting at:

What do you do when it isn’t a band whose new album isn’t to your tastes. . .  but it’s an author you like?

 

You loved their early stuff.  you special ordered signed editions. You bought all their books in hardcover!  You drove hours to see them at a booksigning (you’ve probably done this multiple times), and waited in line for a few hours to get your book signed and when you finally got to the front of the line and the person politely thanked you for coming you said some requisite stupid fangirl/fanboy thing like “omgiloveyourbookssomuchthankyouforbreathingthesameairibreathe”.

 

and you are SO EXCITED for their new book!

 

and it finally came out, and you got it and . . .

 

DNF’d it.

 

because while it was well written, it absolutely, truly, was not to your tastes and you just didn’t enjoy reading it.

 

what do you do now?   How do you respond when you friends say “you love so and so’s work, right? didn’t they have a new book come out?”

 

Can you still consider yourself a fan of this author?  Was this new book just an experimental phase, and maybe they’ll go back to writing the way they used to?  How do you reconcile your “omg, i love this author so much!”,  with your feels towards their new book?

 

and worst of all . . . is this just how art works?  A musician or author or artist or film maker makes something you love, and you love the thing and you love the creator of the thing. . . .   but the fact that you liked it, that was just a happy accident, as far as the artist and the universe is concerned.  The artist’s obligation isn’t to you, right? Their obligation is to their own need to create art.

 

 

and while I ruminate on that  I’m gonna go listen to Folie a Deux another hundred times, because every track on that album is GOLD.  Save Rock and Roll only had like 2 good tracks and the rest sucked (also, did Katy Perry write “Where did the Party Go?”).  Guess i can’t call myself a Fallout Boy fan anymore, since i think their new stuff is just meh. I didn’t even buy American Beauty/American Psycho.

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5 Responses to "My favorite band’s new album sucks (but can I still call myself a fan?)"

“How do you respond when you friends say ‘you love so and so’s work, right? didn’t they have a new book come out?'”

Say, ‘eh, I didn’t like it very much.’

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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I would say I’m still a fan, but I might stop buying their new books without checking out info first. I think we can still appreciate the old, even if the new is going a direction that doesn’t interest us.

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I like an author, or a band, until I don’t. They change, I change, it’s inevitable. Bands get (or think they are) stuck in a rut and want to break out of it. Same with authors, who abandon a series or character to write something “fresh”. So they move on, and so do I.

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Personally, I’ve never had that “omgiloveyourbookssomuchthankyouforbreathingthesameairibreathe” thing for an artist. Partly perhaps for this exact reason: any time you transfer your love for a particular thing, perfect in itself, to the complicated, strange person who made it, you’re inevitably going to be disappointed sooner or later. They’ll make something you don’t like, or have an opinion you don’t approve of, or have a terrible secret be revealed. That sort of adoration isn’t meant for people (and perhaps not for anything at all) – people can never live up to your adulation once you put them on a pedestal like that.

There are artists who have made things I like. There are some who have made lots of things I like. But if they make something new that I don’t like… well, that doesn’t change anything about the things I liked. Am I still a ‘fan’? Well, not in the sense you suggest, because I never was. But I’m still a fan in the sense of still recommending that person’s works, still having conversations about liking those works. If they continue to put out new works I don’t like, I might eventually have to say I’m a fan “of their early work” or the like.

[psychologically, maybe my failure to put people on pedestals in this way is because I grew up mostly reading and listening to the works of dead people. As a result, I may have seen some as a sort of Olympian deity, and known about their lives, but I never thought of them in that sort of squeeing meeting-a-movie-star way, because they weren’t around to meet. Even today, I feel sort of uncomfortable about the prospect of meeting an artist in person. Why would they particularly want to meet me – and if they don’t, isn’t it a rather one-sided and unhealthy relationship? And what would I say? “I liked that thing you made” seems sort of presumptious, since I don’t imagine they’d much care, and while they might be glad of approval in the abstract, by the time you’re number 30 saying ‘I liked that thing’ in their third signing queue of the day it must get a bit repetitive for them… I don’t begrudge anybody else their fan adulation, but I don’t think it’s for me…]

Sorry, that ended up a rather self-centred reply; I could have sworn I had a point or something back when I started writing it…

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thanks for your input! 🙂

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some of the books reviewed here were free ARCs supplied by publishers/authors/other groups. Some of the books here I got from the library. the rest I *gasp!* actually paid for. I'll do my best to let you know what's what.
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