I think Drew is pretty spot on verbally with the review here. The first 3 introductory paragraphs really summarise just how I tried to prepare myself before listening to it. Yet I think what a lot of diehard fans are missing the point on recognizing here is that okay, John and Shaun rejoined and that's pretty fascinating, but the record itself is just a safe and satisfactory one by rating's standards. Like Drew's stated, there are some brilliant songs on the album - 'Best Places', 'El Paso', 'This Is All Now' - and they rightfully deserve to be at the forefront of any TBS mixtape today, but I just feel that other than those high points, nothing else really sticks out, and like a lot of people are saying, the rest becomes forgetful. This paired with the fact that half of the moments on the record actually made me snarl in embarassment first time around but hey, give the band their due, they've had a rough run but yet still manage to make (some) decent songs. I challenge anybody else to still be standing after that.
I never though Taking Back Sunday would come close to TAYF ever again. I listened to Louder Now, and, with the exception of a few good tracks, couldn't get into it. New Again? New, but not in a good way. Finally, with their self-titled, I'm a fan again. Nothing will ever top TAYF, but this is the closest they've come to returning to their roots.
I had not really been in the mood to listen to this album until after warped tour. It is better than I remember. I am glad I picked it up on a whim.
...that and they were selling autographed ones at the merch tent. Regardless the album is much better than New Again and the bulk is better than the later half of Louder Now. I still think, as many do, their first 2 albums are their best and Louder Now is still very good. I think this album has some new stuff for them and old call backs.
Edit: Honestly starting to like this more than Where You Want To Be even but I don't think they have had a bad album. New Again had a lot of filler but even the bulk of it was good for what it was despite being their worst. This album is Taking Back Sunday in rare form.