"This is the thing about the historical adventures... they're not even a dead end of Doctor Who so much as a different show that inadvertently got made under the name of
Doctor Who. So that watching them, the major work becomes trying to explain how the heck this story fits in between giant ants and whatever comes next week.
on the Doctor Who
story "The Crusades"
Genre Roulette is what the name suggests: A single work that switches between distinct story genres, seemingly at random
, e.g. a TV show switches from Comedy
in just one episode
As it's hard enough to write well in one
genre, Genre Roulette can be hard to pull off seriously. Comedies and parodies, on the other hand, usually don't raise any eyebrows when they do this, provided they continue to bring the funny
Musical Genre Roulette is closely related to Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly
. The difference is that a Genre Roulette album can have a country song followed by a punk song, while an NPZR album will have a song that's country and
punk at the same time.
When applied to video game genres (i.e. the style of gameplay), it's Gameplay Roulette
. Compare/contrast with Genre-Busting
and Genre Adultery
open/close all folders
Anime and Manga
- The Excel♥Saga anime played this with pretty much every episode being a parody of a certain genre. Everything from War Movies, to Dating Sims, to Sports, to Variety Shows to Post-Apocalyptic is given a once over.
- Excel♥Saga made a point of this, opening every episode with manga author Koshi Rikdo giving his (reluctant) approval to give the series a Genre Shift. The style and weirdness remained consistent enough despite this, however.
- The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. As a whole though, you can probably put it into Magical Realism, though every piece has its own defined genre.
- Abenobashi Mahou Shoutengai. It starts off with a parody of RPGs, follows up with a sci-fi/Giant Mech parody (including a mind-boggling time paradox involving a miscolored Gurren Lagann), and keeps juggling genres from there...
- Higurashi no Naku Koro ni: It starts out looking like a generic story about some youths (potentially a Coming of Age Story or part of the Harem Genre) before abruptly switching into Psychological Horror. Then the second arc begins, repeating the cycle. Over the course of the series, it becomes clear that the story is actually a Mystery as well, and the last arcs add a dose of shounen action.
- Brigadoon: Marin and Melan is a sci-fi adventure drama, but it's also a middle-school Slice of Life show, a comedy with occasional parodic elements, and a teen romance. One minute you're in the middle of a serious political discussion at an alien council, and the next minute, the aliens are trying to settle their dispute with a pie fight. Serious Mood Whiplash may result.
- Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann switches between distinct styles from episode to episode. One episode may focus on character drama, whereas the next may be written as a harem comedy, and then episodes that focus almost solely on giant mecha combat.
- Gintama cycles between being a gag manga, completely serious battle manga, and heartwarming slice-of-life(well, as close as it can get in Alternate Universe historical Edo, anyways). According the Word of God each chapter is its own genre.
- Cowboy Bebop seamlessly combines the Space Western, Film Noir and Yakuza genres, among others.
- Grant Morrison's Seven Soldiers does this deliberately with each of the miniseries exhibiting the traits of a particular style of comic genre.
- The Return of Bruce Wayne and Multiversity are also set up the same way with each issue being a different genre based on the setting (time in RoBW and the worlds in Multiversity).
- Played with a bit in Ronin.
- Frank And Ernest lands in a lot of different situations.
- Aquaman can be this at times, while most of the iconic DC heroes have their own niche, Aquaman is constantly reinvented. At one point he went from warrior king, to exiled Barbarian Hero, to Messianic Archetype, to Street Level Crimefighter, to mentor to a Heroic Fantasy-inspired Legacy Character in the span of 30 issues.
- Heroes For Hope, an X-Men charity one-shot from the 80s, has twenty credited writers, including comic book luminaries like Stan Lee and Alan Moore and famous authors like Stephen King, George R. R. Martin, and Harlan Ellison. While you can't fault the pedigree or the good intentions, considering each writer is swapped out every two to three pages, the story is all over the map. Within ten pages, the book goes from a morose Magneto nightmare about famine zombies with "dead babies still clinging pointlessly to dead breasts" to Storm getting hit in the face with a pie.
- Hivefled started off as a soap opera, descended into Gorn, then went into action thriller, then into a light-hearted adventure, then back to the action until the two stories met, upon which the genre did a 180 and became a wacky comedy, though now it's becoming a dramedy.
- God Told Me To. What genre it thinks it is depends on what scene it happens to be.
- Man of the Year does this, shifting between comedy, thriller, drama, and mystery all the time.
- Practical Magic Switches between Horror, Romance, and Comedy.
- Xtro, which constantly jumps all over the place.
- Brotherhood of the Wolf is a mystery, martial arts film, monster horror film, drawing room drama, spy film and historical epic depending on the scene.
- Save the Green Planet! has some regular Mood Whiplash, from slapstick comedy to creepy psychological horror, with the odd martial arts scene thrown in.
- Sucker Punch goes from Fantasy, to Thriller, to Action to Horror. The soundtrack also goes from industrial beats and screaming to acoustic ballads with a sole voice to heavy rock songs to rap. The various parts of the movie also experiment with many genres and throw the most interesting ideas together.
- Seen through Western eyes, this is one of the defining characteristics of Bollywood films.
- Cloud Atlas is composed of six interwoven stories, each taking place in a different time period and (often multiple) different genres: There's a 19th century Period Piece/Sea Story/Thriller, a 1930's drama about a gifted but troubled composer, a 1970's mystery/political thriller, a Kafka Komedy set in a a modern nursing home, a Dystopian Sci-Fi action movie, and a post-apocalyptic tale set in the indeterminate future.
- The Marvel Cinematic Universe films are all broadly Superhero movies, but each movie tends to skew to at least one other genre as well:
- Gravity's Rainbow, Historical Fiction overall skips between Science Fiction, war, romance, pornography, family tragedy, horror and slapstick comedy.
- Pynchon does this a lot. It's even more blatant in Against the Day.
- Naked Lunch: Science Fiction, an undercover look at drug culture, raunchy porn, biting social satire, and some hard boiled noir thrown in for good measure.
- House of Leaves is horror. No, wait, it's a satire on literary criticism. No, wait, it's incomprehensible True Art. No, wait, it's a love story...
- Cloud Atlas, which skips between genres with merry abandon.
- Discworld: Is it a Deconstruction or a Reconstruction? An Affectionate Parody of Lawrence of Arabia or a a Who Dunnit? About a Bunny-Ears Lawyer trying to make the best out of being a Boxed Crook, or is the protagonist a Cosmic Plaything that falls from one Wacky Wayside Tribe into the other, or a Dirty Harry Determinator who must fight for his family's survival? Silly or played straight? Pterry goes all over the board with his books.
- Hyperion, the first installment in Hyperion Cantos, does this with the pilgrims' tales, which include a gritty sci-fi war story, a Künstlerroman, an account of a trek up a River of Insanity, a tragic family drama, and a detective story.
- One episode of Monty Python's Flying Circus keeps flipping between genres, as Lampshaded by the captions:
TODAY IN PARLIAMENT HAS NOW BECOME THE CLASSIC SERIAL
THE CLASSIC SERIAL HAS NOW BECOME THE TUESDAY DOCUMENTARY
THE TUESDAY DOCUMENTARY HAS BECOME "CHILDREN'S STORY"
THE CHILDREN'S STORY HAS GONE BACK INTO THE TUESDAY DOCUMENTARY
NO IT HASN'T
NOW IT'S BECOME A PARTY POLITICAL BROADCAST
NO, SORRY, "RELIGION TODAY"
- Doctor Who pushes the line between this trope and outright Genre-Busting. It did so even more in the era of William Hartnell, who played the First Doctor, before the series had quite settled into its format.
- In Season 2, with William Hartnell, at a point after the writers had started experimenting but before they settled into a format, you get: a whimsical children's story with a Green Aesop with the cast trying to bring justice to a murder, a rather dark and violent Alien Invasion B-Movie-like story with Daleks set After the End, a claustrophobic Bottle Episode and Deconstruction of the modus operandi the series would eventually have, a goofy but morbid Black Comedy featuring Emperor Nero, an almost dreamlike Planetary Romance featuring four races of Insectoid Aliens with unique psychologies and cultures, a Shakespeare pastiche Costume Drama dealing with religious prejudice with Gratuitous Iambic Pentameter, a tongue-in-cheek story involving Just One Second Out of Sync time travel paradoxes, an extremely silly Dalek serial involving Wacky Wayside Tribe sequences and Dalek slapstick, and a Wham Episode featuring the first appearance of another member of the Doctor's race.
- Season 3 - a Star Trek: The Original Series-like allegorical story about beautiful evil aliens and hideous good aliens trying to get off a dying planet, a Bottle Episode with no Doctor or companions about a couple of space cadets dying miserably in a Dalek-infested jungle, a Bathos-filled comedy about the Trojan War, a Space Opera featuring Daleks, recurring villains, multiple planets, ancient Egypt and the Family-Unfriendly Death of two companions, a historical deconstructing the companion's trust of the Doctor set amongst an unspeakable real-life atrocity, a whimsical children's horror with evil clowns and dolls, a comedy Musical Episode with cowboys, a Planet of Hats deconstructing the Doctor's modus operandi, and an evil computer trying to take over (then) modern-day London.
- As showrunner Steven Moffat put it: "Sometimes it's comedy, sometimes thriller, sometimes horror, sometimes children's stories, the silliest stories you've ever seen. Sometimes it's all that in the same episode". In Series Five alone we had a thriller, a dystopian rebellion, historical sci-fi with Churchill, a horror-adventure, a comedy romp with vampires, a Dream Within a Dream mystery, a political intrigue with reptile people, A Very Special Episode about Vincent van Gogh and depression, a comedy, and a Wham Episode.
- Season 6 had a conspiracy thriller, madcap pirate romp, a fantasy laden with horrors, a sinister clone saga, a Deconstruction, an assassination plot, a horrifying episode about dolls, a romantic drama, a "What Do They Fear?" Episode, a buddy comedy, and a wedding.
- Season 7 had the concept that 'every episode was a different genre of blockbuster movie' with movie posters for each story. In 7A, there's: a conspiracy thriller, an Anachronism Stew family sci-fi, a Spaghetti Western, a blockbuster alien invasion, a Noir Episode, and a Christmas Special. In 7B, there's a Hollywood Hacking plot, Planetary Romance with Lovecraftian elements, an old-school Second Doctor-style "Base Under Siege" story with one of Two's most iconic monsters (set during the time Two was the Doctor in real life), indie sci-fi horror with time paradoxes, an old-school Fourth Doctor-style Gothic Horror (set during the time Four was the Doctor in real life), and a Victorian Black Comedy. (And some Wham Episodes that don't fit this template.)
- Community: that is all. It's gone through just about everything on the Episodes page, along with plenty of more original ideas. Even the Paintball Episodes (yes, there's more than one) parody different genres.
- Super Sentai, and by association Power Rangers in its yearly theming, in addition to its Toku base genre. This also applies with the Kamen Rider series as well. Episodes can run this line in all these series.
- Despite the title implying a clear-cut Dom Com, Family Matters had this in spades. It really was more of a Dom Com, or at least a Sitcom than anything else; but Steve Urkel suddenly began inventing new forms of Applied Phlebotinum that would have been totally out of place in the show's original concept. Some episodes turn so serious in tone that they it's hard to see them as funny episodes of a comedy show. And a few, but only a few, episodes involved Carl's job as a police officer to such an extent that they seem unusually close to the genre of police or action shows.
- Country music legend Ray Price did this within his own country music genre. He performed straight-ahead standard honky tonk in his earliest releases in the early 1950s, before adding his signature 4/4 shuffle and waltz sounds by the mid-1950s. By the early 1960s, his music began to evolve as he added strings and backing vocals to fully embrace the Nashville Sound. By the late 1960s, his style was pure country pop, and the best example of this was his top 15 pop crossover hit "For The Good Times" in 1970. He continued having success with a style and instrumentation that was not unlike pop crooner Perry Como through the mid 1970s. And then by the late 1970s, he began slowly folding traditional country back into his sound. Since then, the "Cherokee Cowboy" has continued to perform music from all eras of his musical career, which now spans more than 60 amazing years.
- In Björk's 1995 album, Post, she switches from Industrial Rock, Dance, Jazz, Trip Hop, Chamber Pop, Ambient, and other genres.
- Canadian indie band Islands' debut album Return to the Sea featured a ten minute epic, synthpop, catchy indie-pop and a rap interlude.
- Five Iron Frenzy's album All the Hype that Money Can Buy switches between ska-punk, ska-salsa, ska-hip-hop, ska-synth-rock, and ska-Hair Metal.
- They take it Up to Eleven the end of the Quantity is Job One EP, with These Are Not My Pants: The Rock Opera, where every one of 8 band members sings a part, each in a different musical style; Latin, Piano ballad, Country, Rock, Jazz, Reggae, Rap, and something only described as "Weird".
- The Dingees play Clash-inspired punk, roots reggae, and first-wave ska songs on their first three albums.
- The band WHY? switch between alternative hip-hop, indie rock, folk, R.E.M.-inspired jangle pop and bizarre combinations of these genres. Their 2008 album Alopecia for instance, wobbled in between the band's various genres. Compare the first single, alternative rap song "A Sky For Shoeing Horses Under" to the third single, indie rock song "Fatalist Palmistry". The second single from the album, "The Hollows", is somewhat of a meeting point between the band's two main genres.
- Peergynt Lobogris switches between ambient rock, new age and jazz music.
- Origin went this route on Entity; while it contains plenty of examples of their typical sound (Expulsion of Fury, Conceiving Death, Swarm, Saligia, Consequence of Solution), they toss in deathgrind (Purgatory, Fornever, Banishing Illusion), straightforward brutal death metal (Evolution of Extinction), and an incredibly bizarre and unsettling noise-grind track (Committed). Hell, even the songs done in their usual style on the album occasionally pull this; Expulsion of Fury, for example, starts with a frantic tapping riff more akin to Brain Drill or Anomalous before transitioning right into a thick groove right out of the Bolt Thrower playbook.
- The Beatles' White Album switches from Surf Rock, to Acoustic, to Ska, to random banging on a piano, to Bluesy Doo-Wop Hard Rock to Pop to Folk to Country to Hard Rock to Proto-Metal to Blues to Avant-Garde to ballad.
- The Beatles in general did this a lot over the course of their career.
- Played with by Reel Big Fish on Our Live Album Is Better Than Your Live Album with "S.R. (The Many Versions Of)" where they played the entire song or parts thereof several times, picking new genres after each variation and commenting on the crowd's reaction as they included ska-punk, punk rock, blues, disco, death metal, a "sensitive and tender emo song", old school rap and more. The verdict was "play more country, the people love it!"
- Also their song "Party Down" contains ska, disco, death metal, dance, reggae, and country breakdowns, all over a basic garage rock and horns structure.
- X Japan. Heavy metal and hard rock with more than a pinch of punk sensibility becomes symphonic metal becomes beautiful rock ballads AND progressive rock with a metal sound. They're all over the map and bring the same level of skill to all of it.
- BECK almost always, although he somestimes mixes them. Country, hip-hop, jazz, anti-folk, rock, experimental, tropicalia, electronic...
- Frank Zappa played numerous genres throughout his career: rock, progressive rock, jazz, fusion, classical, experimental... the list goes on and on. He even had a doo-wop album.
- Pearl Jam's changed style on every album: grunge —> straightforward rock —> experimental —> world/folk-rock —> garage rock/post-grunge —> space rock —> punk/folk/art-rock —> straightforward rock (again) —> New Wave —> punk again.
- Amanda Palmer made a career out of this. Compare her songs Guitar Hero, A Campaign Of Shock And Awe, Mandy Goes To Med School, Slide, and her cover of Creep. She's also covered songs by/from Black Sabbath, Kurt Weill (in German), Britney Spears, Sonny & Cher, The Sound Of Music, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Tchaikovsky and Rihanna.
- Linkin Park's album Minutes to Midnight switches from cathartic Alternative Metal to synth-tinged adult contemporary ballads with a Political Rap song in between.
- Scissor Shock. What makes this even more awesome is that all of those genres are Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly.
- S.C.I.E.N.C.E. album era Incubus not only varied genre from song to song, but sometimes from verse to bridge to chorus. Witness 'A Certain Shade of Green', with it's funk verse, metal chorus and disco bridge.
- This could be said of many of Radiohead's albums, but Amnesiac fits this trope particularly well. Its tracks include the gloomy jazz of "Life in a Glasshouse," the twitchy electronic "Like Spinning Plates," the relatively straightforward rock of "Knives Out," and the indescribable "Pyramid Song."
- Elton John was known for this at the height of his popularity; Goodbye Yellow Brick Road alone switches from Progressive Rock ("Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding") to melodic piano ballads (the title track) to minimalistic glam-rock ("Bennie And The Jets") to Stonesy rockers ("Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting") to Beatle-esque numbers ("Harmony") to soft rock ("Candle In The Wind") to reggae ("Jamaica Jerk-Off") to boogie blues-rock ("Dirty Little Girl") to progressive rock ("Funeral For A Friend") to proto-disco-soul ("Grey Seal") to pseudo-doo-wop ("Your Sister Can't Twist [But She Can Rock 'N Roll]") to country ("Roy Rogers"; "Social Disease") to '20's jazz ("Sweet Painted Lady") to cinematic pieces like "The Ballad Of Danny Bailey" and the aptly-named "I've Seen That Movie Too".
- Suicide Machines go back and forth from ska punk and ska-core (Destruction by Definition, Battle Hymns) to pop punk (Suicide Machines, Steal This Record) and back to a mix of hardcore and ska punk for their last two albums (A Match and some Gasoline, War Profiteering is Killing Us All), sometimes switching back and forth from ska to hardcore every other song.
- Gorillaz, with only three albums, have managed to present genres like Alternative, dub, hip hop, rock and electronic, and the last song (M1 A1) features sounds and clips from Day of the Dead. Demon Days, the following album, followed a similar pattern, but with a darker and somber sound, along some dance/synth (DARE), some acoustic dark tunes (El Mañana), and even a choral (Demon Days), along with another horror film sample, from the film Dawn of the Dead (Intro). The third album, Plastic Beach, can only be described as "crazy", what with mixing in one song the Lebanese National Orchestra for Oriental Arabic Music with hip hop, and all the album has all over sounds of soul, electro, rock, pop, and even seagulls and sea sounds and a breakfast commercial. Of course, Damon Albarn it's clearly doing a good job, so it's not risky business.
- Yoko Kanno, goddess of anime soundtracks, can write anything. Compare the classic orchestral soundtrack for Vision of Escaflowne to the power-ballad-laden Wolf's Rain to the techno epics of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex to the jazzy music in Darker Than Black. Her work on Cowboy Bebop (paragon of the Cult Soundtrack that is) covers all of these by itself. And then she starts combining them...
- Dir en grey. 'Nuff said.
- In contrast with Mr. Bungle's straight out Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly, Mike Patton's other 90's band Faith No More were a bit more into genre roulette, especially starting with Angeldust. For instance, King For A Day, Fool For A Lifetime had a few of their heaviest songs (e.g. "Cuckoo for Caca"), but also threw in country ("Take This Bottle"), seventies style funk/soul ("Evidence", "Star AD"), breezy Latin-flavored pop ("Caralho Voador"), and even a gospel ballad ("Just A Man").
- Cursor Miner's styles are all over the map, jumping between breakbeat, techno, electro, synthpop, IDM, trip-hop, and industrial.
- The only genre that will definitely be on a "Weird Al" Yankovic album is polka, and it'll probably be a medley; the others can be just about anything. Given that he's a prolific parody artist, this shouldn't be too surprising, but his band can play any genre well.
- The Clash, especially the album Sandinista!, tend to switch between genres all the time. Sandinista! contains the first ever rap song released by a rock band, as well as songs influenced by dub, reggae, and funk, a song with a children's choir, and a song with elements of twee pop. To consider them just a punk band is hardly fair.
- Blind Guardian is ostensibly a Heavy Metal band, but their repertoire runs the gamut from Folk Songs to Heavy Mithril to Pop.
- Also Ayreon, in the same vein.
- Enter Shikari in general, but most notably on their second album Common Dreads.
- ''The Jester'' takes this Up to Eleven by switching between trumpet solos, the band's standard synthesizer-heavy post hardcore and a trance instrumental.
- Japanese Black Metal band Sigh does this a lot, frequently within the same song. It's particularly blatant on Imaginary Sonicscape, where there are oddities like disco and dub reggae breaks thrown into the middle of almost every song. Not to mention the obligatory classical snippet overlaid with what appears to be several hundred samples of giggling babies that closes the album. Of course, Sigh frequently invoke Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly as well. It's difficult to define exactly where their use of one trope ends and the other begins.
- Queen went from hard glam rock to pop to funk to '30's swing to power ballads to skiffle-folk to Progressive Rock over the course of an album. Or over the course of one album side.
- Queen's first few albums were fairly straightforward, fusing elements of Progressive Rock and Heavy Metal. But their fourth album, A Night At The Opera has virtually no two songs in the same genre (and some of the genres are quite atypical for pop bands - British Music Hall style, anyone? - and most of their subsequent albums up to their 1984 album The Works (nine songs, nine genres) continued this pattern. The only real exception in this era was their score to Flash Gordon.
- Queen's most famous hit, "Bohemian Rhapsody" is a Genre Roulette all by itself. There are five very distinct portions, including at one point going from a slow ballad ("Mama...just killed a man") to an up-tempo operetta ("I see a little silhouetto of a man") to a powerful hard rock piece ("So you think you can stone me and spit in my eye!")
- Kyle Dennis: Harsh Noise, industrial, rock, tape music, experimental, drone, even mixtapes.
- Gackt is a rock artist, but what genre of music is going to be on his albums and singles is random at best. Some songs such as Cube, Oasis, Uncertain Memory and Secret Garden don't even resemble any discernible genre. Songs like these are simply referred to by fans as "Gackt rock".
- Christian Rock performer Carman did this constantly during his career. Pop, rock, rap, something vaguely like folk, adult contemporary, a pastiche of '50s rock and roll, and his famous rhyming sermons put to music. He often recorded with guest performers, and even then he might defy the genre they are typically known for; for example, "Our Turn Now" features then-metal band Petra but is the kind of rap-rock that DC Talk would eventually be known for.
- Drake does a mild version of this in his albums. He usually has typical Boastful Rap songs, but occasionally does pop/R&B ballad-type songs, such as "I Get Lonely Too" and "Find Your Love". In fact, one of the things he is praised (or criticized) for is his ability to switch from boastful raps to self-examining ballads.
- Conor Oberst (face of Bright Eyes) exhibits this tendency with his Side Projects.
- Ulver IS this trope - They began as a mix of atmospheric black metal and folk metal and then went dark folk and then a harsher, more lo-fi black metal. On their 4th album they became practically industrial metal and on their 5th they became a mix of trip hop, ambient and breakcore. They now have gone towards a general experimental rock style.
- DJ Shadow's early works were heavily trip-hop influenced while his last album encompasses indie rock and 'hyphy' influences.
- Guniw Tools jump from jazz-rock to folk to punk to electronic music on several of their albums
- The Veronicas went from single acoustic rock pop (Heavily Broken) to RNB-Eletronic-Faux-Rap (Cold) in three albums.
- Two albums in and have done pop, pop-rock, pop eletronic, dance pop, classical pop, 80's inspired pop and RNB.
- Britney Spears and her album Circus is a mix tape as such and an example of this.
- Amorphis has run the gamut from straightforward Death Metal, to a more melancholy Death/Doom style, to Alternative Rock, to Gothic Metal, to vaguely Opeth-ish Progressive Death Metal, and even acoustic ballads.
- Skinny Puppy's hanDover runs the gamut from straight industrial(Vyrisus) to industrial metal(Village) to EBM(Icktums) to IDM(Ovirt) to breakcore(NoiseX).
- Amy Grant has also had Genre Roulette resulting is MOR/Adult Contemporary Christian Pop (her early career), Southern and Bluegrass Gospel style recordings (her hymns albums), mainstream country-folk style songs (Tennessee Christmas among others), folk-rock (her Lead Me On and Behind The Eyes albums), mainstream AC/top 40 pop (much of Unguarded, Heart In Motion, House of Love and Simple Things albums, the duet with Peter Cetera called The Next Time I Fall being the most notable), Christian Rock songs (the In Concert albums and certain songs from her early career) and others throughout her career.
- Sound Horizon is, in theory, a Symphonic Metal band. In theory. The fact that The Other Wiki has them listed under nine genres should tell you something about how they work.
- Vanessa Amorosi: "Somewhere In The Real World" was a jazz (Something Emotional), rock (Kiss Your Mama!), pop (Perfect), swing (My House) and contemporary (Who Am I?) album...to say the least.
- The Foo Fighters were usually alternative rock with a Surprisingly Gentle Song every now and then. Then with In Your Honor, a Distinct Double Album with an acoustic disc, it became more common.
Dave Grohl: "I eventually want it to get to the point where when people ask me what kind of band I'm in, I say: 'I just play music'. It's not one specific genre of music, it's not one specific style. I'm just a musician. I can play all these different instruments, I can write a bossa nova, I can write a thrash tune."
- Vanilla Ice's music has elements of Nu Metal, Jazz, Country, Hip-Hop, Gangsta Rap, Funk, Alternative Rock, etc.
- Crotchduster embodies this to the max. They switch between Power Metal, Death Metal, Grindcore, Synth-Pop, Comedy, Electronic, self made audio samples, Classic Rock, Blues, Jazz, A Cappella, etc. etc. You name it, they've used it at some point. And they only have ONE. FUCKING. ALBUM.
- Steve Taylor liked to play around with a bunch of different genres, although he was nominally just a Christian Rock musician.
- The Smashing Pumpkins' Big Damn Double Album Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness (sic) was notorious for pushing this trope to the limit at a time when popular music was already cashing in on it. In addition to the fuzzy Alternative Rock from the previous record, you had: Grunge ("Jelly Belly", "Bullet With Butterfly Wings"), Heavy Metal ("Zero", "Bodies", "X.Y.U."), Symphonic ("Tonight, Tonight"), Progressive Rock ("Porcelina of the Vast Oceans", "Thru the Eyes of Ruby"), Thrash/Hardcore ("Tales of a Scorched Earth"), Industrial ("Love"), Pop ("1979"), Synth Pop ("We Only Come Out at Night, "Beautiful"), Classic Folk ("Cupid de Lock", "Take Me Down", "Lily"), and... whatever the hell some of those other songs were.
Their follow-up, Adore, was similar in this respect, though mostly shuffling between Pop, Electronic and Folk, as opposed to Mellon Collie's dozen plus genres.
- Kelly Clarkson likes to record different styles of songs for her albums and sing different styles for her shows.
- Kanye West's trademark is incorporating many genres (usually, but not always by sampling) into hip-hop. He genereally changes which genre every album or two, going from neo-soul and 50s/60s/70s R'n'B on his debut and sophomore, to electro and dance music on his third. His fourth album, 808s and Heartbreak was a straight-up synthpop record, whilst My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, as well as his albums with Jay-Z and GOOD Music are this trope to a T.
- This was praised by many as the defining strength of MBDTF, with influences ranging from classical music to dance-pop to rock'n'roll.
- The Witcher: Music Inspired By the Game, one of two soundtracks packaged with the Enhanced Edition of the game, runs the gamut from Celtic-style folk music (e.g. "Skellige" by Duan) to folk-rock ("Sapphire Waters" by Village Kollektive) to rock ("Running Away" by Skowyt) to heavy metal ("Sword of the Witcher" by Vader) to just plain damn weird ("They Want to Suck" by LAL).
- The Bee Gees get in on this too. They employed many musical styles through their whole career, but of particular note is their last ever album as a group, This Is Where I Came In. Witness the understated acoustic rock of the title track, the 90s-tinged Eurodance of "Embrace", the legitimate rock-out session of "Voice In the Wilderness", the Award Bait Song-esque "The Extra Mile", and weirdest of all, "Technicolor Dreams" - a Tin Pan Alley ditty that seems lifted straight out of The Thirties...
- Christian Rock group Thousand Foot Krutch certainly qualifies. They perform everything ranging from metal, alt-rock, hard rock, contemporary Christian, acoustic rock, pop, and even hip-hop.
- Leonard Bernstein's Mass: A Theatre Piece for Singers, Players and Dancers recklessly mixes together various styles of classical and popular music. In less than half-hour, it goes from an experimental quadraphonic piece to a smooth ballad to cool jazz (with Scatting) to marching band music to a round to a folk instrumental to an a capella hymn in neoclassical style to an atonal oboe solo followed by pounding hexachords which segues to blues rock.
- The Monkees, in the Don Kirshner era, spun between bubblegum pop, proto-punk, Mike Nesmith's country-rock, and novelty songs. After overthrowing Kirshner, they added folk rock, psychedelic rock, Broadway-flavored tunes, Latin influences, and hints of R&B to the roulette wheel, removing some of the bubblegum and almost all of the novelty stuff in the process.
- Michael Nesmith's solo career incorporated at various times: country-rock, big band, straight country, straight rock, samba and tango, new wave, tropical music,....
- Volume One by Fear Of Pop, a side project of Ben Folds: Among other things, the album features Big Beat ("Root To This"), jazz-funk ("Kops"), William Shatner doing spoken word over lounge music ("In Love"), and an apparent Talking Heads style-parody ("I Paid My Money")... Basically everything but the piano pop he's known for (although the intro to "Rubber Sled" features a comically sped up sample of Ben Folds Five's Signature Song "Brick").
- Cirque du Soleil's Amaluna soundtrack is a mix of contemporary genres, including pop ballads ("Hope" and "Run"), ska-punk("Burn Me Up"), trip-hop (middle of "Enchanted Reunion"), drum & bass ("Fly Around" and last part of "Enchanted Reunion"), tribal (first half of "Creature of Light"), R&B ("Elma Om Mi Lize" and "O Ma Ley"), dark ambient ("Whisper"), breakbeat ("Running on the Edge" and "Mutation"), and even industrial metal ("Tempest").
- Long-running American experimental group Controlled Bleeding ran the gamut of punk, prog rock, harsh noise, dark ambient, dub, industrial, modern classical music, folk, free jazz, and pretty much everything in between. Generally they had the decency to limit themselves to a few genres per album, but the results can still be incredibly jarring, particularly on early albums like Knees & Bones where the music will suddenly shift from shrieking power electronics to trippy yet soothing guitar instrumentals to strange pieces halfway between the two at the drop of a hat.
- Alex Skolnick, along with playing lead guitar for Testament, leads a jazz trio.
- Jim Steinman's Bad for Good album. Wagnerian orchestra, country & western, spoken word, rock ballad, goth, bubblegum... you name it. In particular, "Dance In My Pants" shifts from country rock to something rather occultish.
- The Avalanches' first (and so far, only) album switches between Trip-Hop, Ambient, and House Music, and even then these songs can't easily be identified as a single genre. Hell, even before their first album, they dabbled in experimental Rap Rock and Trip-Hop.
- The Blue Öyster Cult's first album wobbled between country music with a hard rock edge, to "pure "heavy rock. The Mirrors album revisited the country music theme with In Thee, a track that would not be out of place in the Eagles' soft country-rock repertoire, and for good measure even added the disco-influenced Dr Music.
- Van Morrison generally stays within the bounds of blues/jazz fusion, but has at one time or another dabbled in just about every musical genre imaginable, with the exception of heavy rock and reggae.
- irish band the Horslips practically invented Celtic Rock, fusing traditional themes, rhythms and Irish instruments with hard guitar-edged rock music: they even set a traditional song, An Bratach Ban, to a reggae beat.
- The Cherry Poppin Daddies attempt to do this with each of their albums. While most of their albums feature a primary focus on swing and ska with a small handful of odd-genred tracks, Genre Roulette is most prominent on Rapid City Muscle Car (1994) and Susquehanna (2008), in which the band has stated the intention was to make each track a different genre.
- Rapid City Muscle Car includes, in order, rockabilly, ska punk, psychedelic rock, swing, funk, swing, baroque pop, jazz, hard rock, an accordion ballad, alt-rock, country, hard rock, big band and lounge.
- Susquehanna features, in order, Latin rock, rockabilly, ska punk, reggae, punk swing, glam rock, flamenco, ska, calypso, swing jazz, bossa nova and acoustic soft rock.
- The Beastie Boys' discography defines this as well as anyone.
- They abruptly dropped hardcore punk in the early 80s and jumped to hip-hop, becoming one of the most controversial, and commercially successful, bands of their time with License To Ill.
- In the 90s, they picked up their instruments again and played hip-hop alongside alternative rock, funk, jazz and hardcore punk, making two albums (Check Your Head, Ill Communication) that went back and forth between each genre almost at random.
- They then returned to hip-hop by teaming with Mixmaster Mike for 1998's Hello Nasty, which sported a new, futuristic sound.
- In 2007 they put out an instrumental album, The Mix-Up, filled with funk/soul/jazz workouts.
- Any of the Vocaloid voice synthesizers can and will sing songs of any genre their owners have a mind to producing.
- Rifts was designed to blend as many genres as humanly possible, with new books/settings adding/combining genres not previously covered. Not many other games allow you to play a medieval knight on a robotic horse alongside an alien cyborg cowboy toting a BFG and a wizard with a magical jetpack and literal Lightning Gun.
- BIONICLE's exact genre depends on which comic/book/on-line serial you read or which animation/movie you watch. Its tone also shifts from kid-friendly fables that teach An Aesop at the end to highly violent, messed up, borderline-horror stories that make you wonder how they got LEGO to approve them.
- All of Starcraft is made of this, dependent on which races are shown interacting.
- When only Terrans are present, it's a heavily character-focused Used Future Space Western.
- All Zerg interaction with the other races is Horror genre, from monsters bursting out of the ground, to the grotesque infested terrans, to a monstrous alien queen stalking through a spaceship and slowly consuming the crew.
- The minute Protoss enter the picture, it's high fantasy (IN SPACE!), with visions, ancient prophecies, psychic links and the like.
- Every game in the Far Cry series is a First-Person Shooter, but the setting and genre changes each game.
- Samurai Jack switches between a samurai movie, a spaghetti western, then a buddy comedy, silent movie slapstick, horror, crime drama, Indiana Jones-esque pulp adventure, a gladiator flick, etc., and sometimes all in the same episode!
- Gargoyles can be any genre it wants, at any time. Is it a fantasy story full of magic today? Yes! Is it a science fiction story with a man being ressurected from the dead as a cyborg? Yes! Is it a cop show with mob drama? Yes!