I've always thought I wasn't paying attention to Chromatis activities and that's why I was always confused with their releases. But after carefully following them since around the 'Closer to Grey' release, I can still say: I understand zero shit what they're doing, releasing, planning, scrapping, re-releasing, releasing after years of not releasing and similar.
Especially the 'Faded Now' album was a weird move. Very little time since the release of 'Closer to Grey' and a whole other album, half of whose songs are unreleased and half just alternative ('on film', they say) versions of the previous album's songs. Or is it a deluxe version of the previous album? Hard to say because Spotify has them both.
new direction sounds unpolished, as if they tapped on the very surface of it and called it a day. i didn't expect kfl or nd part 2, and closer to grey is a good album but not for chromatics, for some novices maybe. dear tommy singles feel a whole deal more labored over. touch red is a winner, though.
I agree, though I think production-wise their sound now is actually way too polished & homogenized. There used to be a sense of menace to Chromatics records, and a somewhat lo-fi quality to it (even on Kill For Love). It feels like after Johnny went solo he took all those elements to his own work and post-2013 Chromatics are just trying to recapture the magic of Kill For Love single again and again. Though, there are still sparks of brilliance. Completely agree with you on Touch Red and some of the Dear Tommy singles.
Funny enough, they pulled this very same trick with albums 12 years ago. Chromatics album number III (Shining Violence) is still unreleased. Originally, "Nite" & "In The City" were two singles from it.
their live show was fucking mental!! the version of "Time Rider" they played was so perfect...and the new version of "I Can Never Be Myself When You're Around" reaches post-rock territory in the outro, and the new version of "Blue Girl" is funky (by Chromatics' standard) as fuck!
johnny said it's not coming Q1 of 2019, and since their tour (apparently) starts around May i suspect the album might come out around summertime (unless Johnny Jewel decides to change his mind again haha)