I'm with you, Illuminate has some decent tracks but it mostly bores me and December I just can't get into. Meanwhile, Paint it Golden and the Cinema are my two favorite things he's done so, while I'm in the minority, I'd love to hear more new music in that vein.
Yea I think it's partially because I didn't try Lydia until Paint It Golden came out. Sometimes it's hard to go backwards especially if they had a lineup change. Same thing happened to me with the Get Up Kids, I love their new album but not big on their older stuff.