One thing I've noticed with a lot of my musician contemporaries is that most of them are afraid of change (which, to me, says 'oxymoron' about a musician); they don't step out of their protective and secure boxes to attempt anything that's outside of their realm of influences.
You see this of a good deal of music fans as well, unfortunately. I recently read a blog about Queensryche singer Geoff Tate and how QR's new CD (their follow-up to Operation: Mindcrime II, shown at right) will be 'a big surprise' to QR fans and that they would be touching on new areas of music writing. The fans were noticeably, for the most part, disturbed by this. In fact, the major debate for this particular set of QR fans was when they started to go downhill. Was it Empire? Promised Land? Hear in the Now Frontier? Q2K? None of them could decide. Very few of the fans actually acknowledged that they listened to the CDs that QR's been putting out since HITNF. A shame, really. Queensryche was always a band I felt akin to, musically. Not because I write in their vein of music (if you could even hold it within a catagory), but because they are CONSTANTLY trying to grow as musicians between releases. Even with OMC II, the sounds on the CD may have linked with the first CD (which, if you're a musician worth your salt and trying to produce an audio sequel, you need to accomplish for continuity purposes at least!), but their growth as musicians is apparant in every song on the disc. A lot may argue that OMC II isn't as good as the original (movies and music alike, I would assume, fall into the sequel syndrome of being compared instead of taken as a separate entity), but I say the CD, sitting on it's own, is just as great an achievement as any of their greatest work.
I, personally, am looking forward to a new QR CD. Actually, writing this has given me the ambition to complete my QR catalog. Oh, and if you are a fan and don't have the updated CDs with the extra tracks and the updated sound quality, I highly recommend them.