If you expect your favorite group to only produce smash hits, you're being unrealistic. There are tons of once-great musicians who've continued to record and perform well past their prime, and the songs they put out are nothing like the ones that first entranced the public.
It's always sad to hear about bands that don't make good music anymore, since many of them gave us some of the catchiest songs of decades past. Sometimes, an artist's decline can be attributed to sheer laziness. Once a musician makes it big, it's easy for them to phone in future releases, as their fans will buy any album with their name on it. In other cases, the backslide is less intentional. When an artist stops releasing good songs, it makes you wish that they had quit when they were ahead.
In late 2010, Skrillex's Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites EP lit the world on fire. Within a week of its release, the EP topped the Beatport Top 10 chart, and went on to win two Grammys at the 2011 ceremony. The release introduced the public to the world of electronic dance music, and is one of the main factors that caused pop and electronic genres to merge in the 2010s. While Skrillex once claimed that "Scary Monsters was not a commercial release," the record's success allowed him to start his own record label in 2011, score a promotional deal with the WWE, and host a radio show for Apple Music.
After Scary Monsters blew up, Skrillex released a remix EP (2011's More Scary Monsters), a followup EP (2011's Bangarang) and a full-on LP (2014's Recess), but since then the EDM star has largely avoided solo projects. While Skrillex has released a steady stream of new music, most of his recent work has been with other artists, and he's collaborated with over 50 acts since 2013, despite not having released a new solo EP or LP.
While many of the collabs were commercially successful, most lacked the originality that made his breakout EP so interesting to EDM fans. In 2016, Consequence of Sound critiqued the video for Skrillex and Rick Ross's "Purple Lamborghini" (recorded for the Suicide Squad soundtrack), saying that it was a "ridiculous video for the ridiculous song doesn't even feature a purple Lamborghini." In 2017, Skrillex tried to branch out into house music with his Poo Bear collab titled "Would You Ever," and The Musical Hype bemoaned the release, saying that it fell short of Skrillex's "usual EDM glory," and that "at best" it sounded "ordinary."
9620Has this act peaked?
- Age: 32
- Birthplace: Highland Park, Los Angeles, California
- Gender: Male
When the Las Vegas natives premiered with 2005's A Fever You Can't Sweat Out, scene kids across the nation were taken by Panic! at the Disco's stylish blend of electronic and emo music. Despite their immediate success, the band decided to go in a different direction when they released Pretty. Odd. in 2007, dropping the exclamation point in their name and trying their darndest to emulate the style of the Beatles.
While The AV Club was generally favorable in their review of the album, they did question whether the band's abrupt change in style would cause some fans to lose interest. As it turned out, fans weren't the only people who risked disinterest, as two of the band's original members dropped out in 2009. When this happened, Brendan Urie and Spencer Smith recruited Dallon Weekes, and the trio released the album Vices & Virtues in 2011. While critics generally enjoyed the album, most felt that it lacked the spark that made the first LP so memorable, and by 2015, all the remaining members sans Urie had left the band.
Unfazed, Urie has continued to release solo albums under the Panic name, with Pray For The Wicked announced on March 21, 2018. Despite Urie's continued efforts, the new Panic tracks are all pretty unremarkable. While the New York Times likened the group's 2016 release, Death of a Bachelor, to the stylings of Frank Sinatra, the reviewer admitted that "Mr. Urie doesn’t have the vocal subtlety or the empathy to flesh out his emulation."10933Has this act peaked?
When The Smashing Pumpkins released Siamese Dream in 1993, the singles "Cherub Rock," "Disarm," and "Today" quickly became staples of classic rock radio stations. Rolling Stone listed the album as the 25th best LP of the '90s, and Pitchfork's list ranks the album as number 18. Two releases later, the band put out the sprawling Melancholy and the Infinite Sadness in 1995, which produced the hits "1979" and "Tonight, Tonight." Critics loved the band's expanded scope, and Pitchfork's 2012 retrospective described the album as "one of the most generous records of the '90s."
While Smashing Pumpkins's epic creative vision once brought them success, their more recent efforts suggest that quality is sometimes better than quantity. In 2009, the band announced that their new project, Tea Garden By Kaleidoscope would be 44 tracks long. Rather than drop all 44 tracks at once, Billy Corgan and company decided to release the album in several small spurts, beginning with 2010's Vol. 1: Songs for a Sailor. Initially, 10 more four-track EPs were planned, but as the years dragged on, the band decided instead to release longer LPs that still technically fell under the Kaleidoscope project.
As of 2018, 10 songs have yet to be released, and many of the albums that make up Kaleidoscope seem somewhat disparate. During the first week it was released, 2014's Monuments to an Elegy sold less than 20,000 copies in the US, and Pitchfork said that "perhaps [the] only way to have an emotional investment in these songs is to consider what they mean to the Smashing Pumpkins brand." To the band's credit, it's hard to imagine any decade-long project feeling unified at the end.10340Has this act peaked?
Despite their relatively brief initial foray (the band formed in 1988, and broke up following the death of lead singer Bradley Nowell in 1996), Sublime managed to produce two hit albums, and one of the most instantly recognizable album covers of recent memory. With such an esteemed legacy, many were worried when the band reformed in 2009 with Dirty Heads singer Rome Ramirez on vocals. That same year, the late Nowell's estate actually sued the group out of fear that the reunion would tarnish the brand, and a judge ruled that the trio could not tour using the name Sublime (they now go by "Sublime With Rome" as a result).
While Sublime With Rome has released two albums since reforming, neither come close to the heights that the original band achieved. Their first effort, 2011's Yours Truly, sold 35,000 units in the US in its first week, and Consequence of Sound said that the album "unfortunately lacks the bite that characterized Sublime’s best work." Their 2015 followup Sirens sold roughly 13,000 US copies in the first week it was released, and has a Metacritic score of 48.10141Has this act peaked?