It's funny you say that. 'Best Jewel Thief In The World' reminds me a little of 'The Prisoner of the Past'. I don't why but it just does. I like that though. After all is said and done, artists have a style and this record is far from "Identikit" in my humble opinion.
As for the band comment. I fully accept you may be unaware of this but Mr. McAloon has explained that with his tinnitus he can no longer be in the same room with a band so its not an option. That doesn't make your statement necessarily wrong of course but apart from having always written the songs, i am sure he is still able to seek opinions elsewhere.