That's what I was trying to say in a reply to someone above. The progressions, or maybe just transitions, from album to album have been really good. I'm happy for Leighton if he's feeling better than the This December/Illuminate days, but I do like the darker, gloomier albums more, to be honest.
That's respectable. Paint It Golden will always hit closest to home for me, even though I'm clearly in the minority.
And it's true...I've always felt that artists that have a bone to pick will always have an easier time writing an album, paint a picture, etc.
This band is one of the few that has managed to transition away from that without being cheesy and lame (at least in my opinion), if that makes any sense.