Angel Olsen – My Woman – Album Review
Angel Olsen returns with her new album, My Woman, the follow up to 2014’s ‘Burn Your Fire For No Witness’. It is her third solo album release, depending on which of her smaller independent releases you decide to count. Angel is known for her performances with the Cairo Gang and also Bonnie Prince Billy but continues to evolve as an artist in her own right. This album finds her in quite different territory as she explores something more introspective and intense.
“Oh, the truth I thought I learned
And then it finally came along
Turned around and then it’s there
All the love I thought was gone” – Sister
The opening track ‘Intern’ is a stripped back introduction with keyboard, vocals and the occasional blast of backing vocals. It’s a dreamy affair that most artist would use as a finishing track to an album. Never Be Mine has the feel of a lost Roy Orbison song, with guitar and vocals to begin with, before they are joined by bass and drums to fill out the sound. It’s the first track that really draws you in and absorbs you. Shut Up Kiss Me is another guitar track but slightly more upbeat than those that went before, with pounding drums and powerful chorus. It sets the tone for the next couple of tracks with Give It Up and Not Gonna Kill You, which are both heavy guitar songs. Heart Shaped Face takes a more relaxed mood, heavily reliant on her dreamy vocals. Sister is another slower track, and definitely one of the best on the album and is reminiscent of the Cowboy Junkies. Woman is in a sense the title track and starts with organ music before adding drums and faint guitar. It is a slow building track that develops into something quite special. Pops finishes the album and is another piano track with murky affected vocals.
“I’ll never tell you you’re wrong
Baby, don’t forget, don’t forget it’s our song
I’ll be the thing that lives in the dream when it’s gone” – Pop
There is nothing particularly unique to what she does and the only reason to enjoy it is the quality. Her vocal style is quite emotive and exudes passion and at times a deep sadness. Her guitar is raw and primitive. The production makes the most of the hard edges, nothing too polished or over worked. Angel Olsen is a complex artist and this is an album worth exploring. It’s one of the best of the year so far.
2. Never Be Mine
3. Shut Up Kiss Me
4. Give It Up
5. Not Gonna Kill You
6. Heart Shaped Face
8. Those Were The Days