Right now, it's all retro, baby. There have been several artists who I happen to love from way back that have released songs/albums lately that sound like, well, like themselves. Here's the thing, I am all about artists evolving and growing and developing their sound. I like to have multiple records from one artist that tell a story - that map the journey of their careers. I'm into that. I don't want the first record I have to sound exactly the same at the 3rd or 4th record (Matchbox Twenty...I'm talking to you), even if that sound is really good. I want to hear a song and be able to tell which record it comes from, just by the way it sounds. Like, "Oh yeah, that was his bluesy record, or that was when they experimented with a more techno sound."
But, and this is a big but (I like those...me and Sir Mix-a-Lot), they should not forget where they came from. Even if they become hugely popular and can release total shit and people will still buy it (you know who you are...U2...Radiohead...Coldplay) they should not forget what it was that made people love them in the first place. So sure, go ahead and change, evolve, experiment, I'm more than happy to go on that journey with you. But at some point, please give me a little of what I fell in love with in the first place. Get back to your roots, so us that you still have that awesome in you...then go back to spreading your wings.
Here are some sweet examples of bands who have done just that: