* Music/KidzBop is a series of cover albums, the concept of which is turning hit songs into children's music, not neglecting songs about death, sex, or drugs. HilarityEnsues. Rockabye Baby takes it way further - it turns classic rock songs into ''baby lullabies''. While Kidz Bop mainly cover LyricalDissonance-full Top 40 hits, Rockabye Baby cover [[SarcasmMode kid friendly bands]] such as Music/NineInchNails, Music/PinkFloyd, Music/{{Radiohead}}, and Music/{{Tool}}. And it is [[SweetDreamsFuel amazing]].
* The departure of Roger Waters from Music/PinkFloyd was followed by a classic Lightening and Softening. From mental breakdowns rendered into music and harsh lyrics condemning modern life, Music/PinkFloyd moved to David Gilmour's gentle dreamy soundscapes. Lyrically, the later albums tend to unfocused expressions of good will and an earnest appreciation for life. The remaining angst now seemed more of pose: a mere colour on the palette, not a raw daub of blood. Interestingly, the Waters-lead era (beginning with ''Music/TheDarkSideOfTheMoon'') was itself a DarkerAndEdgier version Pink Floyd. Before this point, Floyd albums were known for being spacey and psychedelic rather than particularly dark. Indeed, their original Syd Barrett era was downright whimsical at times.
* In terms of singing style, In This Moment's second album ''The Dream'', which placed a lot more emphasis on clean vocals than the {{Metal Scream}}s of ''Beautiful Tragedy''. [[JustifiedTrope This was because]] lead singer Maria Brink wanted to challenge herself with what she (personally) found a more difficult singing style.
* One could make a case for this happening to Music/JoyDivision after they changed their name to Music/NewOrder. Not that New Order doesn't have a certain edge to their brand of pop.
* Music/TheMisfits in the 90s, sort of. The low-budget, dirty hardcore punk turned into cleanly-produced punk/metal. Profane lyrics about sex, rape, and chaotic violence stopped, but lyrics about violent horror movies remain.
* HardcoreTechno fans have a huge chip on their shoulder about its lighter and softer cousins: Happy Hardcore and Hardstyle, which charted pretty heavily in the 90s (happy hardcore) and the early 00s (Hardstyle).
* The Tubes. The glitter-shock incarnation that did "White Punks On Dope" in the '70s were a far cry from the group that had a hit with "She's a Beauty" in the '80s. Singer Fee Waybill has acknowledged that this was done intentionally. His reason? "Nothing shocks anybody anymore."
* This happened to many pop-metal bands in the '70s and '80s as they gained commercial success. An example is Music/REOSpeedwagon. Their first album included tracks called "Five Men Were Killed Today" (strangely enough, a ballad) and "Dead At Last" (about suicide, the end of a relationship, or both). Years later, they would have big hits with the power ballads "Keep On Lovin' You" and "Can't Fight This Feelin'."
%%* American Slang seems to be this for The Gaslight Anthem.
* The Music/VelvetUnderground have an interesting trajectory in this regard. Their first album--1967's ''Music/TheVelvetUndergroundAndNico''--was a fairly eclectic mix of soft stuff, hard stuff, and hard stuff that sounds soft (consider "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=09bHvtAz4j8 Sunday Morning]]," for instance). The next album, ''Music/WhiteLightWhiteHeat'', took a definite turn for the experimental and {{dark|erAndEdgier}} (the title track is about amphetamines, and it gets more macabre--often [[BlackHumor humorously]] so--from there; John Cale stated that it was "consciously anti-beauty"). However, the third album, 1969's ''Music/TheVelvetUnderground'', is a lot mellower (if nevertheless experimental) -- something the band occasionally attributed to having their equipment stolen before recording --, and finally 1970's ''Music/{{Loaded}}'' (so called because [[ExecutiveMeddling the label wanted an album "loaded with hits"]]), which is ''much'' softer musically (but also just as experimental and ''[[EarWorm ridiculously]]'' [[EarWorm listenable]], proving that [[TropesAreTools Tropes Are Not Bad]]).
* The first two albums by Music/MotleyCrue, ''Too Fast For Love'' and ''Shout at the Devil'', were dark and gritty HeavyMetal albums with lyrics that dealt with things like drug abuse and Satanism. Beginning with their third album, ''Theater Of Pain'', they moved in a more MTV-friendly hard rock direction with rock anthems like "Smokin' In The Boys' Room" and ballads like "Home Sweet Home."
* In an intentional case of this trope, Music/{{Prince}}'s "Lovesexy" was released as a light and fluffy response to the zany, mean-spirited "Black Album," complete with a pink album cover with a flower on it.
* Music/{{Gorillaz}} followed up his darkest and most depressive work on "Demon Days" with a flashy synthpop album, "Music/PlasticBeach."
* Music/VNVNation's 2010 album, ''Of Faith, Power and Glory'', was very [[DarkerAndEdgier depressive and cynical]], but the follow-up, ''Automatic'', is much brighter and more upbeat. The band in general are the trope codifiers of the Futurepop subgenre, the lighter and softer version of EBM.
* The Pierces had three dark-sounding, FemmeFatale-like albums out with very little success. Their fourth album, involving gentler songs reminiscent of The Bangles, got them breaking into the mainstream.
* A lot of Hip-Hop fans say this is what happened to mainstream rap music. The days of the weed smoking gangstas, and proud to be black Afrocentric political rappers with their gritty [[JustifiedCriminal Justified crime tales]], and socio-political street knowledge were long gone. Only to be replaced (circa early 00's) by champagne sipping pimps, and playas, who love to rap about wealth, cheesy love songs, and club anthems.
** This is also common when leveled at ''SPECIFIC'' artists within the genre. Primarily HardcoreHipHop rappers and the Blue Collar and Hardcore variants of GangstaRap. A good example would be 50Cent whom ironically built his image around being the anti-Ja Rule (whom also turned lighter), which to some made fiddy hypocritical. Then there's others like Music/SnoopDogg, Music/ThreeSixMafia, Music/JayZ, Music/{{Nas}} (circa ''Nastradamus''), the later years of No Limit records, Music/BoneThugsNHarmony (fans thinking they're still trying to chase [[BlackSheepHit ''Tha Crossroads'']], or at least the record label is), Music/WuTangClan circa ''Wu-Tang Forever'' (RZA saying it was a record [[ButNotTooBlack for white people]]).
** As far as the whole genre goes it mostly boils down to MoneyDearBoy (or to be fair ExecutiveMeddling in addition to radio/MusicVideo censorship towards HipHop especially GangstaRap, PoliticalRap, and ConsciousHipHop)..for better or for worse. Essentially HipHop arguably became Lighter out of necessity and survival.
** Specific rapper example: The early works made by South Korean rapper Music/{{PSY}} [[OlderthanTheyThink during his debut years]] were dark and gritty, with his ''Urbanite'' took that UpToEleven by turning Workaholic [[CrapsaccharineWorld Crapsaccharine social phenomenon]] into SarcasmMode. Then come to TheNewTens, his recent songs like ''Music/GangnamStyle'' and ''Napal Baji'' becoming brighter and sillier, with a few serious moments.
* Music/{{Madonna}}'s ''Hard Candy'' has generally been criticized for being closer to the fluff pop of her earlier style than later works such as ''Ray of Light'' and ''Confessions on a Dancefloor''.
* Synthpop duo Future Perfect's first album, ''Dirty Little Secrets'', is dark, {{angst}}y, and depressing at times. Their second, ''Escape'', looks to be headed in the upbeat and energetic direction, by the previews. Conversely, the songs revealed from the forthcoming ''Before The Fall'' are DarkerAndEdgier than both of their previous albums.
%%* ''Music/AvengedSevenfold'', although their music is still dark-and-edgy by general music standards.
* Many thrash metal bands went in this direction around the time of the grunge explosion, partially to keep up with the times and partially because the bandmembers themselves were growing tired of the musical style they were playing. During the last decade, however, this has been subverted by many of these same bands.
** Music/{{Testament}} subverted this trope after their "lighter and softer" ''The Ritual'' flopped. ''Demonic'', in particular, borders on being a full-blown death metal album.
* Oshare kei is this to VisualKei--oshare kei tends to be much lighter and more playful than other visual genres (expect ''lots'' of bright colors and pastels), and, while most other VK subgenres tend to play some form of HeavyMetal, oshare kei generally prefers PopPunk. Just compare, for example, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8D8xrJZ8L-Y D]] (kote kei, the most common VK subgenre) with [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FOZvz52hCow An Cafe]] (oshare kei).
* Played straight, then modestly averted with Music/{{Underoath}}. Those familiar with their commercial successes ''They're Only Chasing Safety'' and ''Define the Great Line'' might be shocked upon listening to their first two releases, ''Act of Depression'' and ''Cries of the Past'', both of which are full-blown DeathMetal albums. The [[MeaningfulName aptly-titled]] follow-up ''The Changing of Times'' marked a break away from their original Death Metal sound into the more melodic and accessible PostHardcore sound they became known for today.
** However, after ''Only Chasing Safety'', their (relatively) Lightest and Softest album[[note]]containing lines such as "Sleeping with the girl next door, I always knew you were a sucker for that" that were a stark contrast to the punishingly dark themes on the first two albums such as suicide, abortion, rape and damnation[[/note]] marked by a change in vocalist from their original [[TheUnintelligible Unintelligible]] Death Metal shrieker to more ear-freindle {{Hardcore}} vocalist Spencer Chamberlain and switch to a more radio-friendly "screaming verse, singing chorus, rinse and repeat", each release afterward was [[DarkerAndEdgier noticeably darker and heavier than the last]]. The departure of long-time drummer and clean singer Aaron Gillespe has left the band in a position between the dissonant Death Metal of the debut and the commercial melodic Hardcore of ''Chasing Safety'', sporting a DoomMetal-esque sound with emphasis on [[MasterOfNone neither heaviness or melody]].
* The Break Up, while still slightly dark, are definitely lighter than Severina X Sol's previous bands; Diva Destruction, Fockewolf, and Cylab.
%%* Everything in Janet Jackson's career after ''The Velvet Rope''.
* Believe it or not, Music/DefLeppard was once considered one of the major bands of the new wave of British metal alongside bands like Music/IronMaiden and Music/{{Motorhead}}. These days, most people only know the band for their radio-friendly HairMetal hits that started with their third album, ''Pyromania''. The members of Def Leppard openly admit that they adopted a softer and more mainstream sound in an effort to become more popular and successful. It worked, big time.
* CountryMusic band Music/{{Lonestar}}. They were a bit edgy and more rocking on their first album; the second was smooth, almost Music/{{Eagles}}-esque; the third was anchored by the PowerBallad "Amazed" and other songs like it; and all the successive albums contained a mix of "Amazed"-style power ballads (e.g. "Not a Day Goes By", "Let's Be Us Again"); [[TastesLikeDiabetes mushy]], bland, family-friendly, soccer-mom-targeting fare (such as "I'm Already There", "My Front Porch Looking In", and "Mr. Mom"), and otherwise safe, totally de-fanged lite-country-pop. It's hard to believe that this is the same band whose first #1 hit, "No News", had a Ku Klux Klan reference {{Bowdlerise}}d from it.
* Music/AcidBath could have been said to have done this with their second album, which toned down the abrasive sludge, death metal, grindcore, and post-hardcore elements of ''When the Kite String Pops'' while bumping up the stoner, blues, gothic rock, folk, and country influences. Of course, given that it ''was'' Acid Bath, ''Paegan Terrorism Tactics'' was still incredibly dark and nightmarish, just a lot more prone to LyricalDissonance. It was also a perfect example of [[TropesAreTools Tropes Are Not Bad]] and how to pull this trope off the right way.
* Music/BreakingBenjamin did this somewhat. Their first two albums, ''Saturate'' and ''We are not Alone'', were both had heavier AlternativeMetal influences, drawing inspiration from Music/AliceInChains and Music/{{Tool}}. Their next two albums, ''Phobia'' and ''Dear Agony'', had more of an alt rock/grungy sound and were a little bit softer musically. Lyrically though, they were about the same, with the later two albums possibly even being a slight bit darker than their first two.
* Music/TriciaBrock's departure from Music/{{Superchick}} saw her take this route, ditching the rock sound and teen angst inspired lyrics.
* There's two versions of Andrew Belle's "Sky's Still Blue": The original and the version made for a commercial. The revised version is significantly fluffier, with a lighter tone, an acoustic sound, and changed lyrics, compared to the melancholy original.
-->'''The original''': Never see clearly 'till you stop crying/I never found it until I stopped trying/I stumbled upon you/Fell through the ceiling tiles.\\
I started out a fire to smoke out my treason/Tore down the building to pick up the pieces/And now on the clear glass wall I can see our fate/But it's a little too late\\
'''Second version''': Your heart is a city/Your eyes are a fixture/Your mind tells a story of ten-thousand pictures/We stumble upon it/Fell through the ceiling tiles\\
We drew up a landscape/We climbed down a ladder/Carved out a memory/To follow the pattern/And now on a clear glass wall I can see my fate/You know it's never too late
* In the beginning, Music/{{Sevendust}} gradually got lighter with each release. Their SelfTitledAlbum was very aggressive, raw metal with some songs bordering on [[ThrashMetal Crossover Thrash]], a far cry from the more accessible sound of their later albums. ''Home'' and ''Animosity'' featured more clean vocals and less screaming, but were still relatively heavy. ''Seasons'' and ''Next'', however, really toned things down, with half the songs being borderline radio rock that wouldn't sound out of place on a Music/LinkinPark album. Which makes it rather jarring to hear the album that came after ''Next'', ''Alpha'', which is their angriest, loudest, and heaviest album to date.
* Music/FaithNoMore really had no direction to go ''but'' Lighter And Softer after the nightmarish ''Angel Dust''. ''King For a Day, Fool For a Lifetime'' had its share of disturbing and brutal metal tracks ("Cuckoo for Caca", "Ugly in the Morning"), but the contrasting songs were noticaebly way more laidback, usually alternating between AlternativeRock, lighter takes on {{Grunge}} and {{Novelty Song}}s in the styles of {{Jazz}} and {{Pop}}. ''Album of the Year'' mostly followed suit, with the occasional ''Angel Dust''-esque metal number ("Collision", "Last Cup of Sorrow", "Paths of Glory") surrounded by more upbeat {{Punk|Rock}} and Alt Rock tracks as well as experiments with ambient {{electronic|music}} sounds. Though both of these albums came after the departure of original guitarist Jim Martin, they are still noticeably DarkerAndEdgier than ''Introduce Yourself'' and ''The Real Thing''.
* Music/SugarRay ''embody'' this trope. After BlackSheepHit "Fly" brought them an unexpected #1 hit, they dropped much of the heavy rock jams of their first two albums, and on their third album, ''14:59," they embraced {{Pop}} music for real, to the biggest success of their career. [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FkE1ZmvjP_E Their early stuff]] and [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NQSCKWfJlXs their later stuff]] are like two different bands.
* Music/{{Chicago}} are heavily renowned as being one of the most tragic cases of this. They built a grand reputation for themselves in the [[TheSeventies '70s]] as SpiritualSuccessor to BloodSweatAndTears, mixing ProgressiveRock with {{Jazz}} instrumentation and {{Funk}} rhythms, only to completely obliterate it by {{Retool}}ing themselves as an AdultContemporary soft rock act during the [[TheEighties '80s]] following the success of [[BlackSheepHit "If You Leave Me Now"]] near the end of the prior decade. One need only hear their two most well-known songs, "25 or 6 to 4" and "You're the Inspiration", to understand the startling contrast.
* Psyborg Corp's ''The Frozen Shrines of Obsÿdÿana'' moves away from the harsh aggrotech of ''The Mechanical Renaissance'' towards goth-electro and futurepop territory.
* A lot of indie rock made since the TurnOfTheMillennium falls into this, perhaps as a reaction against NuMetal, PostGrunge and HipHop. Modern indie generally features softer, melodic songs with predominately acoustic and orchestral arrangements derived from BaroquePop, folk and electronica while avoiding HarshVocals.
* ''Music/OutToLunch'' by Music/EricDolphy has a track called "Something Sweet, Something Tender".
* "Chillstep" is the lighter and softer cousin of {{Dubstep}} which features less distorted bass, a more spacey sound, little to no wobble riffs, less emphasis to near-absence of drops and a generally "angelic" or "uplifting" feel.
* Music/TheOcean released three albums filled with heavy, aggressive, dark, and doomy progressive sludge metal. Cue Heliocentric, and there's a lot more melody and clean singing. There's even a ballad!
* Music/BringMeTheHorizon started out as a {{deathcore}} outfit on their first album, they quickly changed to a lighter yet still hard-sounding {{metalcore}} band afterwards. This stayed for a long time and they became one of the faces of metalcore. Naturally, it was a surprise when all of this was tossed aside with ''That's the Spirit''. They abandoned metalcore completely for a ''much'' lighter radio-friendly sound that incorporates {{nu metal}}, {{emo}}, alternative rock, {{pop punk}}, and electronic rock. Listening to "[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AWggPLXeOkU Pray for Plagues]]", then "[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HJEahE-4juQ Shadow Moses]]", and then "[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ow_qI_F2ZJI Throne]]", they sound like three completely different bands.
* Music/{{Katatonia}} was a TropeCodifier for the death/doom metal sound on their first few releases, but they proceeded to drop the DeathMetal elements in favor for AlternativeMetal, while keeping a heavy DoomMetal influence still. Compare "[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Umbko1vFy6Y Without God]]" to "[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C66QYYdN9F0 Dispossession]]".
* Music/{{Alabama}} went through this as the decade turned from TheEighties to TheNineties. Their sound had most of the rock edge turned down, and they began doing more contemporary, mainstream country with slicker production while phasing out their IntercourseWithYou tendencies almost entirely. 1989's ''Southern Star'' seems to be the approximate turning point, as it was when they switched producers to Josh Leo.