Hey there, newbie here from the UK... been listening pretty much constatntly since receiving my beeeeautiful white vinyl back in October. Nice to hear some love on the forums for this LP, I feel it's kind of been overlooked over here. There seemed to be a bit of momentum for DOTV after they supported Fleet Foxes back in '09 (my first BT exposure) and it'd be nice to see the same happen to AG, if not more so.
While I can see why some of the critics have mentioned the more "conventional" approach this time around, I absolutely agree with some other posters here that praise the cohesiveness. For me this is the first BT album that truly hangs togtether as whole (even though every BT album is pretty awesome in its own way!). Every song is a potential "hit", if that's not a dirty word!
Interesting to read your differing views on influences and "sound-a-likes". The genre leaping from southern rock/country/mountain music/folk on AG really reminds me of one of my favourites, Stephen Stills' Manassas. They make a great double-bill. But it's still distinictly BT, and you can trace early rumblings of AG right back to their debut.
Anyways, keep it up, AG is fricking awesome!