Fair enough, thank you for providing a more in-depth explanation. I personally don't think it's worth trying to judge a piece of art if you don't care about it and you're not willing to invest anything in it, but I understand that you want this band to progress and, since they haven't done that, you have a hard time getting past the surface of the music to appreciate what's underneath.
That said, I am genuinely surprised that you think "Northern Lights" and "Permanent Rain" were the sound of aband going somewhere when the later material lets you down so much. For all my love of Reach for the Sun, it's a pretty one-note affair from a musical standpoint. The layers in those songs peel away because of the lyrical content and AJ's emotional delivery, the very things you are rejecting here. I can understand there being a law of diminishing returns for something like that when it's done repeatedly, and maybe you were in a place when you first heard those songs that made them really resonate with you, whereas it all feels kind of hollow now, but I still think it's weird that you no longer care about a band that, I gather, once actually meant something to you.
I liked AJ's vocals and delivery in Reach for the Sun. I easily prefer them over this or most of Warpaint. it was more reserved at times, and just as dramatic as this (well maybe not quite
as dramatic), but it was done so only when it needed to be or when it seemed to be appropriate (of course, nostalgia being heavily at work here, but I genuinely consider Reach for the Sun far superior to Warpaint).
I want them to progress their sound because it still feels like they're in the same place (at the surface level anyways) as they were when I was 14. and now that I'm not 14 anymore, it feels like I've outgrown them...and I don't like that feeling...