I've been listening to the stream on Tim's myspace site.
My first reaction is *relief*. I hated Imaginary Kingdom. I thought the arrangements were overwraught, and that Tim struggled, vocally, to compete with the overwraught arrangements. IK almost made me swear off Tim. For sure it made me swear off buying anything from him without hearing it first.
The Conversation is a joy. Simple, quiet arrangements that let the beauty of the songs shine through. And Tim's voice sounds great, without having to compete with all the instrumentation. He's not struggling to reach notes he can no longer reach.
I haven't listened to it enough yet to be able to comment on individual songs, but for sure my overall initial reaction is that this is a beautiful album. Sonically pleasing to me in every way.