Yeah, it's an interesting album. The style/tone of it is all over the place, really diverse. I may not remember all of the songs on the album, but it's awesome that they all sound so different from each other.
I love this band because many of their songs have influences from other bands I like/love. The walls are closing in = queen (maybe not), hangman = alice in chains, sweet things = black sabbath (children of the grave), oh my god = motörhead (ace of spades), take me down = rolling stones, heaven knows = queen and/or pink floyd, goin' down = nirvana (the riff and the drums sound like Breed imo) and there are many others probably. I love what Taylor and the guys are doing. Every album is different but their essence is still there, and that's what every band should notice. You can change your style and being experimental and that crap without giving up to your essence or nature that gave you all your fans in the first place.
The new album is Influenced by classic rock definitely - bigger ideas and grander songwriting - I also thought it had some nods to soul music in places. While definitely a new style of writing I think it misses some of the early aggression and attitude..I still like it however.
New album is great, LOTS of diversity. You can tell that they're really starting to grow and mature now since they can chug out more than just hard rock song after hard rock song - not that I had anything wrong with it, it's just nice to see them trying new things.
I don't agree, though I respect your opinion. I felt like it was a more mature album, which advanced from their more reckless "sex, drugs, and rock & roll" stage. It's also a very personal album to Taylor and I felt like it left a strong message.