Easy Street Online review 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.
Over two previous albums, she gave us reverb-shrouded poetic swoons, shadowy folk, grunge-pop band workouts and haunting, finger-picked epics. MY WOMAN is an exhilarating complement to her past work, and one for which Olsen recalibrated her writing/recording approach and methods to enter a new music-making phase.
As the record evolves, one gets the sense that the DzMY WOMANdz of the title is Olsen herself, absolutely in command but also willing to bend with the influence of collaborators and circumstances. An intuitively smart, warmly communicative and fearlessly generous record, MY WOMAN speaks to everyone. That it might confound expectation is just another of its strengths.