Interesting observation. Personally, I miss the early era and wish that the boys would release an e.p. here and there with songs in the vein of their pre-Girls Can Tell output. Let me clarify that I also appreciate their later output.
I doubt that it would have made much of a difference, frankly. I understand how some people would listen to "Laffitte Don't Fail Me Now" and "The Agony of Laffitte" and come to the conclusion that it does not sound exactly like previous Spoon releases. But "The Agony of Laffitte," in my opinion, was nothing new in terms of Britt's writing. It sounds like it could have been released on "Clocking Out is for Suckers" or "Six Pence for the Sauces." Without getting into a meaningless analysis of their work, I think they would have progressed in the same manner (or similarly) regardless of the Elektra situation. Boring answer, right?