There's not one artist that is immune to the audience's complaints regarding a change in their sound.
Music has been a huge part of my life for as long as I can remember. I can't lie, most bands I listen to today do not sound the same as when I started listening to them, or--going further back--when they started out as a band.
Some bands get so many complaints that they write a song about it. Example number one: Bring Me the Horizon's "heavy metal" off their newest album "amo." The album follows their last album "That's the Spirit" which faced massive criticism for being too poppy for a heavy metal band. In response to those criticisms--and the anticipated ones for their new album--Bring Me the Horizon wrote a song that demonstrates the frustration of the complaints about their change in sound.
Musicians in every genre face complaints like this. Even Taylor Swift wasn't immune to it.
I'm not going to lie--I can understand why people hate when artists change their sound. They liked that specific kind of music that artist was putting out, and they don't want that to change. Besides, it's kind of in human nature to hate change.
However, a change in sound is necessary for musicians. If they're confined to just one sound for the rest of their careers, their music is going to get stale. It's going to get old and boring and everyone is going to tire of it.
Musicians like being kept on their toes. Moreso, they like to keep their fans on their toes. They like to surprise people. What's surprising about the same thing over and over again? Predictability doesn't sell in the music industry.
Most importantly, attempting to keep a similar sound forces musicians into a box. They're restrained in a certain genre, a certain sound that they can't escape from. They're bound by people's expectations. Their creativity begins to stifle. Artists who put out record after record after record that all sound exactly the same go insane. It becomes a money grab rather than a creative outlet.
Music requires change. Whether it's a gradual change or sudden, it needs to happen. Change forces the brain to work harder, it stirs different emotions, it forces the mind to create something completely unique. If no one changed their sound in the music industry, if no one ever dared to step out of line, then we'd have one music genre. We'd have hundreds of artists who sound similar.
Besides, think about it this way: have you listened to the same exact music all your life? Or have your genre preferences changed over the years?
As a listener of music, has your "sound" changed?
Because if yours has--and it probably has, whether you'd like to admit it or not--then why can't bands change theirs?