Honestly, I know that the four of them realized that it had to be something different with Robbie. I would of been a bit sad if they had tried to recreate the magic of "The Circus" with Robbie, because that album was magic right there. It's good that they're going for a different type of magic, a different perspective.
Though everyone keeps saying "The Flood sounds so much different then what Take That usually comes out with" and I don't see that, not at all. See the thing that I both love and hate about Duran Duran is that they are always trying to capture the magic that is "Ordinary World". Every album has a throwback to "Ordinary World" but really no song could ever be as epic as that. But Take That manages to create a successive string of songs that -are- epic. From the Beautiful World album it was (for me) Beautiful World, then it was "Rule the World", then it was also "The Garden" and "Greatest Day". "The Flood" reaches an epic that puts it in line with those other string of epics.
Because with Take That, I need that one epic song on my album, the song that is the flag ship for everything else that comes after it. It has to be massive, and quelling like a ocean that can't be stopped. The vocal signatures are different, but ultimately it's not just a song.. it's a force.