I read a series of posts yesterday from a “fan” deriding the latest creative output from Neil Finn (an album written with his son, Liam) as dull, miserable and basically not the (mostly) upbeat pop songs they expected of someone who was responsibly for hits such as ‘Weather with you’, ‘It’s only Natural’ and ‘Chocolate Cake’.
Everyone is welcome to their subjective opinion on any works of art, but I don’t think anyone has the right to complain about the direction an artist chooses to take creatively, certainly not when the effective request is to “just keep doing more of what I like”.
Art doesn’t have to have universal appeal, trying to cater for everyone invariably results in the bland and generic. Just because a musician produces a run of catchy pop songs doesn’t mean they should be pigeon-holed into that category for eternity. If they tour an album and then only play cover songs, the paying audience have a right to object to being misled, but there is no obligation to meet the expectations of fans at any point when working on new material.
Just because we are the audience doesn’t mean we can behave like customers; Consumption of art and music is for the most part free through access to galleries and streaming services. While that is the case the artists involved owe us nothing.
Here’s one of the tracks from Neil and Liam Finn’s album Lightsleeper. You might like it, or you might not, but don’t ask them to write something else. If you want something different go and find it elsewhere, or write it yourself.
Come back tomorrow for another post which may or not be written in the same style and tone as this one, who knows…