I might go off topic here, because this is a topic which I think I can type non stop for, and when that happens I tend to go off topic, so please forgive me.
For myself, I found out about SCANDAL 2 months or so after they released Haruka, which was the period where they were already starting to leave the school uniform phase, so I didn't really get the time to convince myself that I can't imagine them in anything other than uniforms, although I don't think I would in the first place. When my mother commented that the girls looked like quadruplets on my TB cover, I can't help agreeing with her. To me, when all 4 girls wear the same uniform and have the same long black hair, I can't help but think how they don't really have much individuality. This is why I only started to fall in love with them only after BA was released, that was the point where they started to show their individual styles. When HARUKAZE was released, BAM, 4 girls with 4 distinct looks, characteristics and styles, exactly what I was hoping they would end up with. I have never loved them more before that.
I admit I accept their changes a bit way too easily; I liked PHS (both the PV and the song), but people disliked that they sounded too pop and that they should stick to playing instruments instead of dancing. I didn't have any problem with the TS PV, but plenty of people think they are simply selling their *** appeal there. (got to censor this word here
Talking about selling *** appeal, I remember the Weekly Playboy "saga" a few months back where the entire SH community is divided over them posing for rather "revealing" photos, "revealing" in the sense that they were wearing rather short shorts and the like. So many people here were so unhappy that they went for the shoot, but all I thought was why were they making such a big hoo haa when they haven't even reached the level of AKB48 who do bikini shots? It shows a different side to them, and we get to see them in a way we had never seen before at that time. It was a change, and a rather daring one at that, which I liked. If this was all it takes to get this place into a uproar, imagine what happens if they went AKB style or even worse.
I get the feeling some people may say I'm just a blind fanboy who thinks that everything they do is the best, but to me, all these changes is part and parcel of supporting people in the entertainment industry, regardless of what they do. You can't expect them to stick to a constant formula over so many years, people will get tired of them because they are just watching the same things over and over again. They need to veer away from their well trodden path once in a while, only then will they keep things fresh and get fans anticipating what style their next release will be. Look at all the successful artistes who have lasted more than a decade in the entertainment business, how many have actually stuck rigidly to the same style without changing even once?
However, it's not to say I don't like their changes sometimes; like any other fan I will gripe about things I don't like. I thought their attempt at change on the SCANDAL SHOW cover was horrific, I thought Koshi-Tantan was one of their worst songs ever, I didn't like Cherry Jam at all (although I liked Dobondobondo no Theme), and I thought HARU would look better with long slightly dark coloured hair instead of the long black hair she's currently wearing or the short blonde hair she had before. And and and, I didn't like how all of them were wearing outfits so similar to each other in TS and PHS (it's like returning to their school uniform days, minus the school and equally long black hair)
Music wise, I got to agree with macdyne. Listen to their songs in order starting with their very first single, and you notice their songs have rarely veered away from the poppish rock sound. In fact I feel the only song that truly have a rock feel to it is Shunkan Sentimental. Perhaps this song is a reason why some people feel SCANDAL should be a proper rock band and not doing all that pop stuff. Since Shunkan is one of the OPs for a popular anime, some people exposed to SCANDAL for the first time through this may think that rock is SCANDAL's style, based on just this one song, and any other type of music is considered "unSCANDAL". Listen to Namida no Regret, Haruka, or basically any song that is not "rock". To me, most, if not all of them carry one unique style, called "SCANDAL STYLE". That's enough for me. Their music does not need to be rock or pop rock for them to be SCANDAL, because the most important thing for them to be SCANDAL is to have this style that no other group can copy or imitate, regardless of how much their music changes.
And the most important thing, as long as they like what they are doing, and they chose to do what they are doing on their own accord, I have absolutely no problems with that, regardless of how different from the norm it is. Look at all their faces in the TS and PHS PVs, how can anyone tell me any of the girls are not enjoying what they're doing?
This is the end of the presentation, thank you.