These artists knocked it out of the park on their third try - WXPN | Vinyl At Heart

We’ve all heard of the sophomore slump. After collecting heaps of commercial and critical success, an artist falters on their second try. But, what about the third effort?

For some acts, it’s a shot at redemption. Primal Scream, for instance, had put out two records to middling results before releasing their beloved third album, Screamadelica.

For others, it’s a breakthrough; Alanis Morissette wasn’t expecting her pivot from dance pop to alternative rock to yield many sales, but Jagged Little Pill went on to become one of the best-selling records of all time.

Kendrick Lamar - Alright

Then, there are the artists who experienced no such mid-career slump and simply kept releasing bangers: Kendrick Lamar, A Tribe Called Quest and Adele, to name a few.

The third album can be a tragic final chapter, as was the case with Nirvana and Aaliyah. It can also be an opportunity for daring sonic reinvention. Radiohead and Björk followed up critically acclaimed sophomore albums in 1997 with something altogether new, strange and exciting with OK Computer and Homogenic, respectively.

Whatever the case may be, the artists in this playlist knocked it out of the park on their third try.

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