I just got through my first listen of the four-song preview that Drew got and I can't say I agree with the praise. The last record wasn't great but it has some pretty good songs. Move Along is rad pop rock. The first record is cool too. I'm not their biggest fan or anything but the song writing on these four just doesn't stick out to me. This band is going to be best with the biggest hooks, which is what got highlighted on the last album - maybe a little too much so. But it just seems to me like they used to have better songs - or better songwriters - and I'm not too impressed with the musicianship on these four songs. His vocals are very out of control at times, which is a good thing usually and they can make it work, but it's blending very well with the synth work for me.
Edit: And I probably will end up very much disagreeing with the thoughts on the production, I can't say I'm enjoying the sound at all...maybe I need to play it in my car or something. Or maybe it's just my first listen, but this is very underwhelming after hearing the hype.
Double edit: I'm now re-listening to the last album....the production on this is 10 times better. Maybe it's just the stream Universal Music gave out, but that was borderline grating. "I Wanna" from the last record is a much better pop track than the four I just received. This should be in a blog or something.
If you're judging the production of songs based on a stream, I don't even know what to tell you to begin with. It's Greg Wells. That's borderline trying to say someone like George Martin doesn't know what he's doing. 10 times better? Embarrassing statement.