I will preface this with saying that I am a huge Anberlin fan. I wasn't a big fan of Dark... however I could get into 'Impossible' and 'We Owe This To Ourselves' - but overall it was bland and the production was terrible. Never Take Friendship Personal was a landmark record for me. A real pure Anberlin record. Cities was kind of underwhelming after NTFP - and then I feel they picked it back up with New Surrender - which, in my opinion, was the best production Anberlin has seen.
Anyways - this record is just OK so far. I gave it one listen all the way through in the car today - and it seems muddy and all at the same energy level - with very few dynamics. 'Intentions' stuck out to me as a great pop-single effort, but the rest was 'meh'. While I agree its a welcomed departure from Dark... - I don't see all the hype. I also think the production is pretty awful - I expected better from Aaron.
This may change. But that's how I feel as of now.