I definitely believe Drew when he says this record is better than Separation. I loved a lot of tracks on that album but this one is shaping up to be easily as good if not better based on the songs I've heard thus far. Honestly, this is probably my least favorite of the three, but still good.
It's my favorite B&C record, though I'm hesitant to use the term "better."
Here's the best analogy I've got: since hearing Thrice's Major/Minor, I've grown to enjoy Beggars less. To me, Major/Minor is almost a better version of Beggars, as they provide me the same feeling/tones/whatever.
But The Things We Think We're Missing and Separation give me different things. I love both dearly, for different reasons. That's not to say either record is a departure, or that I owe nostalgia for my appreciation of the earlier record - but they give me different satisfaction.