Hahaha. You know it’s funny, Pins & Needles is my least favourite Lifehouse song (maybe tied with Had Enough or Falling In).
I highly doubt we’ll get another Lifehouse album in the next five years. Goodbye Kanan was written with Winnie in 2017 as far as I can tell, meaning it would predate any ØZWALD stuff… so effectively it’s been six years since the band really worked on material. In that time Jason has released two solo albums, three solo EPs, seven Oz albums, and two Oz EPs. That’s basically 12 albums worth of content, including the Beatles covers!
I see them continuing work and maybe one day coming back, but with Bryce having a blast with RadioXX, Oz and solo work for J and Steve, and Ricky session drumming with big names, I can’t say that I see a pull for them to make more of that music. Jason isn’t really that person these days either:) LH is no longer his only outlet for music, and he resonates more with what his other projects “allow” him to release.
As for Almería, I’m actually a bigger fan of the record than S&M. I know it’s a controversial opinion but I think they took more risks and it paid off in the arrangements. BTR, Slow Motion, and RotS are three of my favourite-sounding songs the band has released to date, and Barricade is an all-time favourite as well. Right Back Home is also the first Lifehouse song with a proper guitar solo - super cool.
The album is obviously an outlier and has several tracks that felt a bit unfinished (Lady Day, the aforementioned Pins, Where I Come From, even some parts of Aftermath) and lyrically it’s not as deep as the first four albums (or OOTW), but I find myself coming back to it more than several of their records for some reason. Maybe it’s the novelty? I find the tracks that are less interesting lyrically (Gotta Be Tonight, Nobody Listen, Only You’re the One) still feel fresher than All In, Had Enough, and some of the other more derivative songs on S&M, even Halfway Gone.
I also think that the trademark hopefulness that makes every good Lifehouse song was more present on Almería than S&M. Pins seems like a Smoke & Mirrors outtake, being angry and bitter like Had Enough / Halfway / Nerve Damage / HTGT / Wrecking Ball, which the band had never done before for the most part (Better Luck wasn’t romantic). The only other non-hopeful song was Nobody Listen, which was more of a neutral commentary. Otherwise the hope was present throughout:)