I started pondering this concept for my Manchester Orchestra review, and I am going to try to use this blog to get my useless musings about other artists out as well as smooth out some of the kinks in the concept. Constructive criticism is appreciated.
What makes a musical genius? Is it the ability to be consistently good at a certain style of music? or is it the ability to change styles seamlessly? The ability to do both of these things at the same time is at least the basis of one. But something has to be added right? How about the ability to work as creatively with others a by themselves? Again, the ability to do both is essential. What about the ability to flow the vocals with the instrumentation? Of course, again essential. Andy Hull has all of these things.
Anyway, other artists that fit with this, are not plentiful, but certainly there.
Morrissey - During his time with The Smiths, he released some of the best records of all time. His lyrical style was dark but not always serious and there was never an awkward moment on those albums. When he went solo, things were a lot different. The style that he chose was not really what would have been expected from the head of one of the most important bands of all time. However, he made truley stellar alternative rock, and that was better than expected.
Colin Meloy - Head honcho in The Decemberists is irresitably quirky and interesting. His solo work, while less interesting is far, far, from bad, and his work with The Decemberists, is well, The Decemberists. Diverse and wholly captivating, each one of their albums is truly an adventure. His lyrics while at times cheesy, always tell haunting stories.
Feist/Jason Tait/Brendan Canning/Kevin Drew/Charles Spearin - So, yeah, I just highlighted 5 members of my favorite band, who have also released stellar solo material. Feist's underated solo work is actually very impressive. Jason Tait's work with The Weakerthans, while infrequent in releasing albums, are consistent in very high quality. Brendan Canning and Kevin Drew both released very good solo albums through the Broken Social Scene Presents... series, and Charles Spearin recently released The Happiness Project, which is an original album that's very intriguing. Of course, their work together is insanely good, and Spearin's work with Do Make Say Think is also very good.
I'll proably expand this later, but this is what I have on my mind so far.