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Thread: Random Thoughts on how being a "fan" of an artist changes over time

  1. #1
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    Random Thoughts on how being a "fan" of an artist changes over time

    I've been wanting to post some thoughts about being a music fan and how my own listening/purchasing habits have changed in recent years and how this affects artists and the type of artists that get radio play and big sales. I'm not sure of the age demographic that purchases the most music, but I have to think that I am starting to "grow" out of it. I used to buy CDs left and right and a release date for one of my favorite artists never went by without me offering my support and purchasing their latest album. Now, I usually still keep up with when CDs are coming out (via radio or this website honestly), but I seem to say, I'll get that later and later never comes anymore. When I was a teen, I loved Mariah Carey and I bought every new album and went back and bought her earlier albums (the first two or three I think) that had come out before I became such a big fan. I can't remember now, but I think the last album of hers I bought was Rainbow (might not have been called that, but it had a rainbow on the cover art) and then I never bought another one. The same goes for Martina McBride, Sarah McLachlan, Keith Urban, Rascal Flatts, Tim McGraw, Brad Paisley, and most recently Lady Antebellum and Miranda Lambert. I used to buy all of those artists' albums and then just stopped at some point. Part of the problem is that I haven't updated my iTunes payment information and the card expired (the main reason I don't have Lady A's latest or David Nail's new single), but part of it (especially the older artists) is that something will happen where I'm not the biggest fan of a single or two and I skip an album and never pick back up. Part of it is that I just can't keep up with all of them anymore. Carrie is the only artist I've ever had this level of dedication to as far as being a member of her fan club since the inception (although I keep forgetting to renew this year so I still don't have the Year 7 package). Sometimes I wonder, as I get older and my daughter gets older and I'm busy with whatever she is involved with, will my level of devotion to Carrie stay this strong? Will there come a time when I stop buying Carrie's albums? It's hard to imagine that it will happen, but then again, it's happened with almost every other artist that was my "favorite" before Carrie came along. Perhaps it won't because Carrie is only 3 years younger than I am, got married around the same age that I got married, and so maybe I'll be able to relate to her music for decades since we are going to be in a similar stage of life. Anyway, I do wonder how some of you have changed as fans of artists over the years. My fandom never stops because I truly quit liking an artist, it's just that I move on to someone new and kind of don't have time to keep up with old favorite and I get tired of the same sounding music (I'm looking at you Brad, Keith, and RF!). With all of that said, I need to update my iTunes info because I do still love Lady A and I have got to get their album!
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    PS - Sorry for the long paragraph, but since the enter button doesn't work, oh well!

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    Insane Carrie Fan liz278's Avatar
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    I have felt the same way for a while too. I buy a single if it really is something I want to listen to a lot. I have not lost my love for Carrie and right now I can't see that changing. (I like it so much because she doesn't sound the same on every song) I used to buy the CDs of Martina and RF but they all started to sound the same like you said. You put into words what I feel about a lot of artists and life in general. We find more important things to spend our money on
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    Huge Carrie Follower carriesfan123's Avatar
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    Interesting idea for discussion. I like it.

    I think our musical tastes/preferences are very telling as to who we are as people. Like the OP said, since they feel they can relate to Carrie they can connect with her, thus being a die hard fan. I can honestly say the only artists I am hardcore fans of are Carrie and Kelly Clarkson. Of course, I like other artists a lot; but I'm not rushing out to buy their albums. Carrie and Kelly I feel a connection to with their music. When I listen to it, it seems like it's everything I want to say.

    I also think our experiences in life alter our musical tastes. Again quoting the OP, she and Carrie are kind of in the same boat right now as far as marriage. That's probably why you feel a connection with her and her music, and why you are more than likely going to keep up with her at least for a few more years. I'm a 19 year old male, and I've been a big fan of Carrie's since American Idol. She started out as just a typical crush that you would expect from a (at the time) 10 year old boy, but as I grew older and realized what Carrie's music meant I became a big fan. Songs like JTTW, TH, SS all inspired me to live my life the way I do; songs like TMBIM, IAICA, and SLT inspire me to have a good time in a variety of situations, I could go on. A few years ago, I went through a devastating break-up. It broke my heart, but I had to get through it. That's when I discovered Kelly's music has the same effect on me as Carrie's. Carrie's is a lot more "in general" type of thing, but Kelly's music inspired me to not stand for being disrespected and also inspired me to move on and find someone else. It sounds really cliche, but music has the power to change us and help us through tough situations like break-ups or even deaths (see Carrie's JAD).

    I think it's only natural that people go through changes in life, and as they do, their musical choices change as well. This allows them to discover new music and sometimes, it's difficult to keep up with the old.
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    Carrie Guru epicamends's Avatar
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    I only buy CDs if I really like the artist and want to show my support for them in that way. If I'm just a casual fan of an artist, I won't buy their CD. I think I've always been like this, but from what I can tell most people tend to spend less money on "luxuries" like CDs, DVDs, etc, as they get older, because they have less disposable income. Now, I need to worry about bills, whereas in the past I could spend most of my money on things that I wanted rather than needed.

    I have never been a fan of anyone like I am of Carrie, though. I tend to go through phases, where I love an artist for a few months or even a couple of years and then grow out of it, but with Carrie I've been going strong for 5 years. I don't think there will ever come a time when I won't buy her CDs and buy a concert ticket whenever she comes to town.

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    Ultimate Carrie Fan clh_hilary's Avatar
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    I think you are just more picky with music because of the outlets.

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    My attitude about music has always been a bit of a contradiction.
    As a musicician I love music, it is a part of my everyday life. But "buying" someones music becomes very selective for me.
    I won't spend money on someones music unless I really feel like it is going to add to my quality of life somehow. I know that sounds a bit dramatic but really its true in the simplest sense.

    I grew up with radio that would basically give you the latest hits so why buy it? I also found that I did not what alot of "product" laying around when I knew I would only go to the trouble of putting in the player once in a while.
    Now the music that I "loved" is a bit different. I to, would find certain artists that I connected to them as a "musical voice". I liked what they said through their music. And I could rely on the fact that an album of 10 to 12 songs would have a variety of music that would interest me on an intellectual level (as well as just being fun to sing to). That was an important componant as well. I have always liked music that truly reflected "the singer". Not music where the vocalist was basically just a vehicle that carried the words to me. Nor could I ever seperate the vocalist from the music if I did not like the person.
    Example; there is no way in he.. that I would ever sit and listen to a Kid Rock album, let alone buy it!! Even a great song like "Picture of You" with Sheryl Crow is ruined for me because I can't get his image out of my mind. Nope! Can't do it.

    So the artist is very important to my attitude toward the music. I can not seperate them. They are one in the same.

    Most artists that I have bought consistantly in the past I do not now. When the style becomes repetitious I loose interest.
    that is why at the moment I really like Carrie alot because her music changes enough each time around that it does not sound like the previous stuff, but the production is such that her voice is always the main componant so I am able to relate to her and her voice in what the music is saying each new album.

    I could have ended up liking someone like Kelly, when I heard SYBG and BOY I thought, this is amazing. But then I just sensed a very repetative nature to the shouty angry girl vibe. There is a huge chorusy sound that blasts into the chrous on so many of her songs, that I can hardly tell them apart. And as great a vocalist as she is, the noiseyness of the arrangement is such that her actual voice sits very far back inside the arrangement so I don't feel like I am getting her at all. I am getting a voice that could be any starlette shouting into a mic and the engineers layering it till the voice is indistiguishable.

    Again, SyBG was amazing to me. But I would not expect every song to sound like that.
    If every Carrie song sounded like BHC I would have been done years ago.
    When I heard BA the song for the first time, I got chills cause it was unlike anything I had heard before or ever expected to hear from Carrie Underwood. It was such an odd fusion of story telling into this contemporary music beat that I was blown away by her courage to record and release it.

    So when that happens and it is someone I really like, I will stay involved. As soon as an album comes out that sounds too much like the last one, I am like Kismet, I am done almost immediately after that. And then it is hard to find that passion again.
    Kizmet311 and Carrieflattsfan like this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by epicamends View Post
    Ionly buy CDs if I really like the artist and want to show my support for themin that way. If I'm just a casual fan of an artist, I won't buy their CD. Ithink I've always been like this, but from what I can tell most people tend tospend less money on "luxuries" like CDs, DVDs, etc, as they getolder, because they have less disposable income. Now, I need to worry aboutbills, whereas in the past I could spend most of my money on things that Iwanted rather than needed.

    I have never been a fan of anyone like I am of Carrie, though. I tend to gothrough phases, where I love an artist for a few months or even a couple ofyears and then grow out of it, but with Carrie I've been going strong for 5years. I don't think there will ever come a time when I won't buy her CDs andbuy a concert ticket whenever she comes to town.
    I think your first paragraph is a big part of why I don't buy music like I usedto, or go to concerts every other month anymore. When I was single anddidn't have a mortgage, I was able to spend all of my disposable income on CDsand concerts. Now, even though I have a higher income, I'm married andwhat we spend our money on becomes a joint decision to some extent since wehave a mortgage, two car payments, a house to maintain and constantly update, twostepkids and my daughter that always need something, etc. Sometimes Imiss those carefree financial days, lol, especially when it comes toconcerts. There is nothing I like betterthan live music.


    Also, like you,I have never followed someone for this long. I was a Mariah fan most of my teenage years, a Sarah McLachlan fan incollege, and probably a die-hard Martina fan until Carrie came along. Then, Martina put out Teenage Daughter and Itotally lost interest. I wasn’t a motheryet and I couldn’t relate to the song, plus I thought it was just a bad song,lol. It’s hard to believe I’ve been aCarrie fan for almost 9 years! I joinedthis site a month or two after she won Idol and joined her fan club the secondday it was open. She’s the only artist Ihave ever bought two of every album (get it on iTunes so I can listenimmediately and go to the store to get my hard copy), and I have twice boughtthem for my close friends (Carnival Ride for Christmas presents one year andBlown Away last year to thank them for planning my baby shower). I even paid $750 for tickets ($250 each) formyself and two friends to get front row seats to see Carrie (and Martina andLeann) at the Country Cares concert in Detroitin December 2005 (obviously before those financial burdens came along,lol). It really is hard to see my fandomfor Carrie dying anytime soon, lol.
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    Quote Originally Posted by pklongbeach View Post
    Myattitude about music has always been a bit of a contradiction.


    I grew up with radio that wouldbasically give you the latest hits so why buy it? I also found that I did notwhat alot of "product" laying around when I knew I would only go tothe trouble of putting in the player once in a while.
    Now the music that I "loved"is a bit different. I to, would find certain artists that I connected to themas a "musical voice". I liked what they said through their music. AndI could rely on the fact that an album of 10 to 12 songs would have a varietyof music that would interest me on an intellectual level (as well as just beingfun to sing to). That was an important componant as well. I have always likedmusic that truly reflected "the singer". Not music where the vocalistwas basically just a vehicle that carried the words to me. Nor could I everseperate the vocalist from the music if I did not like the person.
    Example; there is no way in he.. that I would ever sit and listen to a Kid Rockalbum, let alone buy it!! Even a great song like "Picture of You"with Sheryl Crow is ruined for me because I can't get his image out of my mind.Nope! Can't do it.

    So the artist is very important to myattitude toward the music. I can not seperate them. They are one in the same.

    Quote Originally Posted by pklongbeach View Post




    This part ofyour quote is very similar to me. Although I hate radio sometimes – I don’t like it when I can’t skipRodney Adkins or Toby Keith, lol, Pandora and Spotify have really changed theway I listen to music. I LOVE being ableto “train” my Pandora stations to play the music and artists that I enjoy and ILOVE being able to skip songs and artists that I don’t enjoy. Like you, I also want to know that when I buya CD, I am going to enjoy the majority of the songs. When I was in high school, I was a bigR&B/HipHop/Rap fan and went through my country isn’t cool stage, but Iremember buying CDs and not liking most of the music. I was always so disappointed when I onlyliked 2-3 songs on a CD and that happened a LOT. There were certain artists I knew (and stillknow) that I can rely on for an entire CD of quality music.

    Finally, thevocalist or voice plays a big part in who I listen to as well. I like music I can sing along to and that isprobably why I adored Mariah Carey when I was 14-16, as well as Celine Dion andeven Martina at that age. I wanted to beable to sing along as loud as I could, lol. My family probably didn’t like it so much, lol. Even today, I want to be able to sing along,which is why I love Carrie. Now, I doenjoy a good dance beat, even in a country song, that is fun to listen todriving down the road or dancing in your living room, but every now and then Ijust want to sing along.

    pklongbeach likes this.

  • #10
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    Also, just want to say thanks to everyone that has engaged in the discussion so far. I kept wanting to comment on this, but there never seemed to be an appropriate thread for it. I think it's a conversation that lends itself to why some artists, maybe even Carrie, see declining sales after they have a big hit album. It's like, having that big hit album will gain you a ton of fans (and for Carrie that happened out of the gate), the goodwill from a hit album will guarantee you a certain amount of sales on your next album, but after that it really is uncertain for an artist unless they have a very strong group of devoted followers or can continue to crank out the hits.

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    Carrie Guru pklongbeach's Avatar
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    Yes, it becomes inevitable that an artist lose alot of "curious sales" and those who flat out didn't like it.

    This is why it becomes important (in my mind) to continue to evolve. I think it allows fans to stay committed to something that they see growing and changing. And also, new fans can get won over as the artist developes into something closer to what that person likes.

    I didn't know who Martina was until Carrie, and I just loved her Greatest Hits Cd. It was an amazing collection of vocal tour de force peices.

    So I bought two more of her more current cds and unfortuately did not relate to them. Alot of filler, and alot of the same sound over and over.
    The last album, which did not feel authentic to who she is at alllllllll, was the straw that broke the camels back. I suddenly realized, it does not matter how talented you are or extrordiary your voice is, if you are not making music that is true and real and honest to you, it falls flat. That teenage daughter thing actually kind of pissed me off, ha ha ha ha......terrible.

    So again, I see Carrie doing very very well considering we are approaching 9 years in the industry (unbelieveable how fast time goes), and she is so relevant and respected.

    But we should absolutely expect cd's to reach no further than platnium at this point. And that is even extrodianry at this point. Anything beyond that is just amazing.

    Unless she completely reinvents herself and has a huge hit in that vain (which I secretly pray happens), I don't see much changing sales wise.
    Carrieflattsfan likes this.

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    I think the main reason is that the artist you liked changed or something.
    Same goes with me when Taylor released her "RED" album and I just gave up buying her any CD or single, one of the reasons why I'll never give up Carrie's that she never makes a big change on her songs and I much love that.

  • #13
    Ultimate Carrie Fan Carrieflattsfan's Avatar
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    Interesting discussion.

    Like many of you. I don't buy music or albums unless it's something I know I will love listening to for a long time.

    When I was growing up, I almost exclusively listened to pop music, because that was what was popular, and that's what all my friends were into at the time.

    I discovered country when I was about 10, and I've loved it ever since. Right now, music seems to be going through a rough period, but previous generations always call the current music "trash." The horrible material is usually soon forgotten, and the great songs will last for ages.

    I never really had a desire to explore much outside of what I liked until the last several years; now I'm much more open. I actually read a story about a study that confirmed people are more comfortable listening to what they are already familiar with, versus going outside their comfort zone. It makes a lot of sense, but I think taste does mature overtime.

    Quality of music has diminished a lot, and I think a lot of people can't bother to spend money on something they might listen to for a few months and then delete. In a way, that's been a good thing for me, because I realize what I really want, versus what I might consider disposable (ie a waste of money), as time goes on. Plus, very few mainstream artists are making great albums that are worth purchasing; I think if we didn't have Itunes, Spotify, etc, artists wouldn't have the luxury of throwing something out there every few months to make a quick buck. The obvious downside being we wouldn't have so many new ways to discover music, but I think all of this "put it out and sell it for profit" attitude has made artists/labels greedy and kind of lazy.

    That said, I also have friends who aren't into music much and are looking for the disposable, fluffy stuff you can find in droves on the Itunes charts. So if people don't care what they're buying, and the target demographic is young kids/adults with disposable income, you're gonna end up with labels who will put out anything.

    I think the disposable music is just more highlighted now because we have so many different ways of gaining access to music; in the end, we'll probably end up being no worse off than previous generations.

    The music fans always seem to complain about crappy music, but they can stop buying it and discover the good stuff, instead. Nobody is forcing you to support anything you don't want to, and if you want something better, go find it. No use in blaming the industry, because is focused on profit and marketing, and nothing more.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Carrieflattsfan View Post
    Interesting discussion.

    Like many of you. I don't buy music or albums unless it's something I know I will love listening to for a long time.

    When I was growing up, I almost exclusively listened to pop music, because that was what was popular, and that's what all my friends were into at the time.

    I discovered country when I was about 10, and I've loved it ever since. Right now, music seems to be going through a rough period, but previous generations always call the current music "trash." The horrible material is usually soon forgotten, and the great songs will last for ages.

    I never really had a desire to explore much outside of what I liked until the last several years; now I'm much more open. I actually read a story about a study that confirmed people are more comfortable listening to what they are already familiar with, versus going outside their comfort zone. It makes a lot of sense, but I think taste does mature overtime.

    Quality of music has diminished a lot, and I think a lot of people can't bother to spend money on something they might listen to for a few months and then delete. In a way, that's been a good thing for me, because I realize what I really want, versus what I might consider disposable (ie a waste of money), as time goes on. Plus, very few mainstream artists are making great albums that are worth purchasing; I think if we didn't have Itunes, Spotify, etc, artists wouldn't have the luxury of throwing something out there every few months to make a quick buck. The obvious downside being we wouldn't have so many new ways to discover music, but I think all of this "put it out and sell it for profit" attitude has made artists/labels greedy and kind of lazy.

    That said, I also have friends who aren't into music much and are looking for the disposable, fluffy stuff you can find in droves on the Itunes charts. So if people don't care what they're buying, and the target demographic is young kids/adults with disposable income, you're gonna end up with labels who will put out anything.

    I think the disposable music is just more highlighted now because we have so many different ways of gaining access to music; in the end, we'll probably end up being no worse off than previous generations.

    The music fans always seem to complain about crappy music, but they can stop buying it and discover the good stuff, instead. Nobody is forcing you to support anything you don't want to, and if you want something better, go find it. No use in blaming the industry, because is focused on profit and marketing, and nothing more.
    Didn't you used to stan for Martina Mcbride, as well? I'm curious to know when you dumped her, and why. :-P

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    Carrie Guru pklongbeach's Avatar
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    AS for crappy music (ha ha ha) yes, there has always been and will always be disposable music. It is what keeps the machine running while there is no real music of interest. Everything can not be major.

    And artists start to run into this problem in thier careers. Think of Leanne or Faith, both very popular when they have a hit song to push, and both vanish if they don't have decent material.

    I think the problem in country right now is the fact that not only is the industry shutting its doors so strongly toward young women creating interesting music. But it is playing safe with a formula that is "disposable".
    Two decades ago there were truck songs. But there was alot of other material as well. There were individual artists with individual tastes and styles. And it made for a diverse landscape. Sure there were hits that were crap. And there were amazing songs that got passed over for crap. But there was still enough diversity to see a bigger picture of quality and taste.
    That is missing right now.

    There is one brand of country that is dominating. And I mean "really" dominating. And that is, not just the Truck Song, but this brand of lyric writing that basically just calls out a bunch of stereotype "terms of convention" that are attached to country music. I mean a country song is basically written as a laundry list of "country terms". And worse, it is not even relevant. It is actually a made up stereotype that most people do not experience but wish to "live vicariously through". Like a romantic comedy. Its nothing like real life but women want to believe in the fantasy.
    That is basically what country is doing right now. But it is "all" country is doing right now. So it is going nowhere.

    And sadly, in my view, the few women who are trying to make a difference (which I commend them for) are falling into the same trap. Using stereotype "white trash" terms to depict life in the south. And the more trailor-trash it is, the more people think it is "deep and poinient. But most of it is just exactly the same as the truck songs.

    I give Carrie credit for sticking to a concept of "storytelling" cause that allows the writer to stay on course with an idea, and not fall into a lazy writing pattern of "took my old ford chvy down an old dirt road got my girl and a suds with some Merle on the radio.".... I just want to shout "Shut Up" when I hear it cause it is so lazy and fake.

    Oh well, there is only one thing that breaks cycles like this. Hit songs that don't follow convention!!

    Blow Away! amazing! BHC amazing. JTTW amazing, JAD (not my favorite) but talk about unique.

    No one else is doing anything right now except maybe the Band Perry. They try to avoid writing traps and still stay true to country and try to write hit songs. ITs not easy.

    Most everyone else, no.

    Taylor Swift is one of the few that does not write this brand of flat-fake-country. For that I guess I should applaud her.

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    Carrie Guru epicamends's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pklongbeach View Post

    I grew up with radio that would basically give you the latest hits so why buy it?
    I remember listening to the radio with my tape player ready, waiting for my favourite song to come on so I could hit record. lol. And then the DJ would usually ruin it anyway by talking over the intro of the song.
    Inspired and gocountrymusic like this.


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