Everything just became too polished and guitar wanker-y for me after 2005's Good Apollo. There were a couple tracks I liked on No World For Tomorrow, but by now everything to me just kind of bled together into a gigantic prog rock cheese fest.
Why must we (Detractors AND Fans) pigeonhole music? Who gives a Flying FIG if other people listen to it? "People" are tunefully mindless sponges & taste is magnificently individual . As for 'Color Before the Sun' - People are aesthetic Wimps (myself included ;) and Alternative/Metal/Etc Fans are among the worst when confronted with anything new or when an Artist/Band makes any attempt to grow . Pound for pound, Co&Ca's newest is by far their most listenable and radio-friendly release -NOT dirty words! Moreover, the "Concept" conceit is for many a barrier-to-entry or lyrical "crutch" and for a casual listener like my wife, this is definately their best yet. In other words, it's a VERY strong record ABANDONED by the Label (and also by most "devotees" YOTBR style...) I fully expect this Album to be much more fondly regarded than it is now and remembered as a vital transition point sonically. Like all Coheed, the more you listen, the more you like it, Buy It. On Vinyl. Pure Aural Magic.
"Is it because of BETA status that the current album doesn't appear in the statistics?"
No. It's because no one is listening to it. "You've Got Spirit Kid", their first single, is currently #82 in the rankings. That's the reason you're not seeing it. I'm honestly waiting for their next serious album. Only two songs did it for me on this one, and barely. I just have so much better stuff to listen to, which includes previous Coheed stuff. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
TCBTS was inevitable - I always knew there'd be a non-conceptual album. I bet this will never happen again. Either way, it's an amazing album and if you don't like it then you're not a fan of music - because if they kept the same pattern you'd call them the new AC/DC and complain they don't do anything new or different. It's more pop than the previous albums but it adds that much more musicality to it, instead of just being an album they copied using their older material.
The Color Before the Sun is a thousand times better than Year of the Black Rainbow, so at least there's that. I liked it well enough. Definitely not as good as The Afterman, but there were enjoyable songs, so fuck it. Not everything a band releases is going to be perfect.
The new album is phenomenal. The Audience and Peace to the Mountain are arguably the two best songs Coheed has put out in the past 5+ years, and the studio version of Atlas is beyond beautiful. Island is a hell of a good opening track as well. A bit of a short album, especially since 3 of the 10 were already released, but this is a phenomenal album. I already love it so much more than The Afterman.
I have to admit, although I thought the two new singles were okay, they were (by Coheed standards) pretty simplistic, repetitive, generic, and "radio-friendly" to the point of seeming manufactured. I was worried as hell. Those singles are by FAR the worst songs on the new album though. I was pleasantly surprised. It is definitely still different, but in a more earnest and less mainstream genericism kind of way. Elements of Queen, Green Day, sludgy blues-rock in the vein of The Black Keys or even Sabbath linger around the edges of some songs. There's an incredible variety here, and a good portion of it is damn good.
I'm a little anxious about this new direction for Coheed, but the Afterman series held some of their best work by far for me, so I'm optimistic. At least they're still trying to change 20 years into their career. If they tried to make another Good Apollo it would just be boring honestly.
Not liking the new direction. Have lost most of my interest after the second single dropped. I'll wait and see, there might be hope of songs for those of us that preferred the sounds found in IKSSE3/Good Apollo 1, but I'm not holding my breath.