I dig the album but I can find no kinship with "Need a Little Sunshine" and "Love is in the Air." They both ring hollow to me. Album gets crazy good on the back half, which Layus seems to have a fondness for.
I'm only on listen #4, so maybe they'll make a turnabout.
Also, it's never a good thing when an artist alienates all his band members on a consistent basis, album after album. Despite what the liner notes say, I'm hoping each instance was creative differences and not something more sinister.
Oh, and "Youth is Wasted" is one of the best songs he's ever written.
Admittedly, those two are probably my least favorite on the album. They're definitely lighter weight, fluffier stuff compared to the best songs on here. I just like the throwback atmosphere of those two, especially "Love in the Air." But yeah, the back half is where this thing really takes off.
I got the sense from Jonathan's interview that they parted on fairly amicable terms, but it's always hard to know for sure, and it definitely seems a bit fishy when everyone else decides to leave at once. I'd be interested to hear their sides of the story.
"Youth is Wasted" is a great song, and a terrific choice as one of the pre-release singles. I've always been more fond of Layus's ballads ("Sunday Best," "Twenty Years," and "Remember Me" are probably three of my top five Augustana songs), but still.