In the music business, the debut and sophomore albums illicit equal levels of hope and dread. But there’s another phase in a band’s album-releasing career that deserves similar attention: the return album. After years away from the spotlight, a group triumphantly once more enters the studio in order to captivate fans with a renewed sense of musical enthusiasm. In recent months, everyone from No Doubt to My Bloody Valentine have announced the forthcoming fruits of such efforts.
How do you, as a fan, approach the release of these efforts? Do you eagerly anticipate them, or feel an unending sense of doom? How do your expectations of the band change or adjust at all? By that, are you willing to be harsher or less harsh in your critiques depending upon how long you’ve waited? Lastly, do you worry at all about how the new LP will impact your thoughts on their back catalog?