Album Review: Angel Olsen - "My Woman"

Album Review: Angel Olsen -

By Ian Bremner

My Woman is out and Angel Olsen is heading on tour with a six-piece band (Seattle show is 2/18 at the Neptune). The number of band members may sound like overkill for anyone who associates Olsen with the lo-fi songwriting tendencies of her previous albums. Turns out, the only overkill is the "lo-fi" descriptor itself still being applied to her.

Though there are lo-fi elements from time to time, My Woman is so far beyond that. It's a gorgeous rock 'n' roll record, with layers that grow upon each listen. The first five tracks set the tone with a controlled, raucous feel. Electric guitar, synths, and drums fill the soundscape with Angel Olsen’s voice in full command throughout. The last five tracks slow it down and stretch it out.

Where the first two singles, "Intern" and "Shut Up Kiss Me," demonstrate the direction Olsen is taking, there is a noticeable shift in the album at "Heart-Shaped Face," the sixth track. My Woman plays like a classic A-Side/B-Side record. The A-Side ROCKKSS and the B-Side BURNNSS. By the time album standout, "Sister" comes around, Olsen’s voice is steady at the forefront, rolling over Crazy Horse-styled guitar solos. It’s an eerie, lonesome type of beauty best found in classic '70s albums. My Woman packs plenty of punch, but the two seven-minute burners ("Sister" and "Woman") stick out most without isolating themselves from the bunch.

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