Angel Olsen has been a figure of the scene for some time now but her latest LP MY WOMAN is the work of an artist cementing their place in the community like a bronze statue. Proud, vulnerable, and to be marvelled and adored.
Her third album is something to truly be absorbed. It has a kaleidoscopic range of emotions and inflections which will take time to full enjoy but the instantaneous likability of the record is there for all to see. It moves from the happy, silly and pounding to the introspective and complex, using confident and exquisite melodies alongside wry lyricism and theatricality to make this a must-have-LP.
Olsen has a knack of being able to mellow and kick up dust in the same breath and she does so frequently on this LP. Starting with the dreamlike ‘Intern’ she adds an electric buzz to an otherwise existential song, it orbits like a satellite with a similar hum. Then we have ‘Never Be Mine’ which drenched in pop nuance kicks itself in to gear and treats us to a 60’s inspired teardrops-in-your-lap anthem.
The hit of the album follows with ‘Shut Up Kiss Me’ is quite simply brilliant. Punchy in all the right places with the kind of lyrics which speak to everyone at least once in their life. With this track Olsen manages to speak to every generation, genre and gene in your body. It should be Top of the Pops.
The album then takes a turn inwards and adds a little melancholy with ‘Heart Shaped Faces’, and ‘Those Were The Days’ which with its genteel vibrato vocal is like a summer hazed dream. ‘Woman’ continues to add shine to the golden tendencies of the album. The 7 and a half minute track crescendos with Olsen screaming “I dare you to understand what makes me a woman” a sentiment which is prevalent in the MY WOMAN but not the entirety of it.
The album shows Olsen not only in her dark, introspective comfort but also in a vibrancy not seen on the previous record. She’s not afraid to shake off the shackles of gender, personality or stylistic preference, the album is about not one of those things but them all. It is about how each of those threads weaves in to a completeness which we call life.
Olsen continues to be an artist worth watching, she continues to be an artist worth her salt but most importantly she continues to be an artist. This album is about the music and the music is the artist in this case.