Where were you for Therapy, Painting Flowers, Actors, Guts, Under A Paper Moon, My Only One, and Return The Favor...?
The older songs that were lyrically outstanding were Jasey Rae, Running From Lions, Coffeeshop Soundtrack, Remembering Sunday...
He has never strived to make every song he writes to be powerful and insightful and junk, but he still does it for some songs, just like before.
They're not digressing in any way. It might be a step sideways to some people, and thats a matter of opinion so whatever, but they aren't moving backwards.