Sorry to be the elephant in the room but OBVIOUSLY the biggest change in this album from the past, is the exclusion of the Farros. I mean talk about great musicians those dudes were!
There NEEDS to be an interview about how this writing process went about in comparison to prior cycles, since I remember reading that Josh used to write a lot of the songs.
(also I really wanna know if they're all good friends again, now that 2 years+ have passed)
Replace Josh with Taylor and I'm pretty sure it's the same as it was before. I don't think losing the Farros hurt the band as much as fans like to believe it did. I'm also pretty sure they're tired of being asked about that. They've all moved on. Why can't you?