: A hard rock or heavy metal band records a soft song.
- Straight: A hard rock band records a power ballad.
- Exaggerated: A grindcore band records a lullaby.
- Downplayed: A heavy metal band records a song that's more melodic than their usual fare, but is still heavy.
- Justified: Many rock/metal bands choose to experiment with different styles.
- Inverted: A soft rock band records a headbanging song.
- Subverted: The song starts out being a ballad, and then shifts to the band's usual heavy fare.
- Double Subverted: The band then records a full ballad version of that song.
- Parodied: ???
- Zig Zagged: A band changes their signature style so many times, it's hard to determine if a song is softer or harder than their usual fare.
- Averted: A hard rock band doesn't record any ballads.
- Enforced: A hard rock band is pressured by their record company to record a ballad under the belief that it will attract more female fans.
- Lampshaded: The song contains lyrics about it being softer than the band's usual fare.
- Invoked: ???
- Exploited: ???
- Defied: "We're a hard rock band. We ain't gonna record no stinkin' ballads. Ya wanna hear ballads? Then go listen to a soft rock band!"
- Discussed: "So, mate, what do you think? Should we record a ballad? I know we're a hard rock band, but it's almost an unspoken rule that all hard rock bands record the obligatory power ballad."
- Conversed: Alice says, "This is my favorite band, but I don't understand why they think they need to record ballads. Contrary to popular belief, not all women listen to hard rock bands for their ballads. If I wanted to hear a ballad, I'd listen to a soft rock band."
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