Contrasting albums by the same artist

Have there ever been two sequential albums by the same artist as contrasting in mood as the last Dirty Projectors record and the new one? I’m really struggling to think of an example. It’s amazing that they are so completely different from each other but both still unmistakably the same artist. Has anyone else done this?

Age of adz and Carrie & lowell


midnite vultures and sea change


Another one I thought of us was Murder Ballads and The Boatman’s Call by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds.

Also Transformer and Berlin by Lou Reed, Bowie’s Diamond Dogs and Young Americans (and Young Americans - Station to Station)

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not albums but Daylight/Nite Lite by Aesop Rock are two good songs for this

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Yeah literally hundreds of bands


They’re like night and day though those two records - the self titled one was so dark, claustrophobic and self-absorbed, the new one is the sunniest, most joyful record you can imagine, like a sweet fizzy drink on a hot day. And yet they are both unmistakably the work of the same artist. It’s very impressive and more rare than you allow, I think.

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Obvious, but Pablo Honey vs Kid A

Not much similarity between the 10 minute guitar solos on Moby’s Animal Rights and the car advert soundtrack of Play.

Every Soulwax album is different from the one that preceded it…

Screamadelica and Give Out But Don’t Give Up.

In some ways they had to do something totally different as they weren’t going to top Screamadelica. But it got slated for being a sub Stones rip off. It’s OK.


Man Who Sold The World into Hunky Dory is quite a big contrast. Think I read that was when he started writing on piano for the first time.

Not sequential though - it’s easier to find contrasting albums that are 7 years apart with another two between - there’s a pretty clear progression through the first four Radiohead albums I would say.

The Cribs conscously made For All My Sisters as poppy and full of hooks as they could, then contrasted it with making 24/7 Rock Star Shit as sludgy and lo-fi as they could. Interesting to split the two main constituent elements of your sound off from each other like that, but sadly I don’t see it as being all that successful, because they both still just sounded like Cribs albums.

I think the cure are the best band for this. Still blows my mind that the same band made seventeen seconds and the head on the door or wish and three imaginary boys etc etc

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That’s a fair point if you are looking at a whole career, but I can’t think of two consecutive Cure albums that are wildly different in mood and sound. Possibly Pornography/the Top? or maybe Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me/Disintegration?

Definitely this. As I recall the mid 80s swerve from “DOESN’T MATTER IF WE ALL DIE” to “LOVECATS!” happened pretty abruptly.


Neil Young: Trans and Everybody’s Rockin’

Doesn’t apply if you meant two GOOD sequential albums, though. Trans is decent, but Everybody’s Rockin’ is dreadful.

The Flaming Lips have a few pairs that fit this, but The Terror to Oczly Mlody might be the best example. The horror of death to unicorns and fairies and Miley Cyrus saying “we a family” to group laughter is a pretty big swing.

I’ll admit that I don’t have any of his other albums, but I’m guessing Beck with Sea Change fits.