Album Review Angel Olsen - Big Time

Haunting, heartbreaking and life-affirming.

Angel Olsen - Big Time

Angel Olsen has long taken huge strides in her output, from the rough and ready lo-fi of ‘My Woman’ to a fully-fledged orchestrally-backed offering on ‘All Mirrors’. Across ‘Big Time’, she distills the highs and lows of her past few years into a 10-song suite that pulls its influence from both country and the Great American songbook. The album was born from a period of highs (embracing her sexuality) and lows (both her parents passed away suddenly and in quick succession). This dichotomy of emotions is fully embodied through her charismatic vocal which often sounds as if it teeters on the verge of tears. “I can’t tell you I’m trying when there’s nothing left here to try for,” she sings on ‘All The Good Times’. Quiet moments strike as boldly as the more cinematic as she mines timeless melodies left unplucked by the greats. ‘This Is How It Works’ slow-dances around the gentle strum of an acoustic guitar with accompanying pedal-steel - “It’s a hard time again,” she muses. Elsewhere, bold brass pulls ‘Go Home’ into a stirring finale and standout ‘Through The Fires’ is a gorgeous string-tugged lilt. Haunting, heartbreaking and life-affirming, Angel Olsen’s songwriting talents soar to great heights in the mostly restrained palette here, offering the much needed space to wrestle with the complexities life has thrown at her.

 

Tags: Angel Olsen, Reviews, Album Reviews

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