The point I was making with ESP&G is that instead of doing another double album like In Your Honor, they condensed it into one album (which I thought was very effective, maybe I'm the only one who rates it that highly.)
If Brian wants to write some acoustic based Americana music, there's no reason he shouldn't be able to implement that into a Gaslight record. Same with a dark, moody HC-style song. There's a way he can tastefully combine all the sounds he wants to pursue without having to put out multiple albums. I think he just churns out a lot of songs and its probably hard for him to narrow things down.
I'll back you on Echoes, Silence, Patience, and Grace
. Not sure if I'd call it their best, but it's certainly more effective than the bloat of In Your Honor
or the bore of One by One
, which I think is easily their worst album.
With that said, I think Brian expanding his horizons has resulted in him making the best music of his life. Elements of the Horrible Crowes bled over to Handwritten
, which I find to be the most varied (and best) album Gaslight have released. I love The '59 Sound
as much as the next guy, but it gets kind of repetitive in the mid-section. By writing all different kinds of songs and pursuing different projects, Brian has been able to sharpen his writing considerably. He was always a great lyricist: now he's a great melodist, too. I'll listen to four albums in a year from him if it keeps taking him down interesting songwriting paths.