The “sophomore slump” is the musical equivalent of the Bermuda Triangle: It’s either a totally mythic construct meant to induce fear, or it’s a genuine destination waiting to swallow up your favorite band. A new study lends credence to the notion that the dreaded slump may be less boogeyman and more legitimate industry trend.
Study organizers began with Rolling Stone’s list of the 100 Best Debut Albums of All Time, published in March 2013. From there, they reviewed the aggregation website Album of the Year, comparing the scores of 80 debut records with their follow-ups. A staggering 66.25% of the time, the grades dropped, offering some concrete proof that the “sophomore slump” is a noticeable issue for bands across genres, cultures, and historical periods.
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