Angel Olsen – MY WOMAN
Angel Olsen has the spikiness of a Patti Smith or a PJ Harvey. The vulnerability of a Cat Power or a Lucinda Williams. The strength of a Sharon Van Etten or an Annie Clark. Most importantly, Angel Olsen has the ambition to create a very special record that’s a feature of any great artist. MY WOMAN is that record. It’s a tale of two sides. It starts with the punky, in-your-face, no-messing-around side. ‘Never Be Mine’ impresses with its 21st-century wall of sound. ‘Shut Up Kiss Me’ gets to you right where it matters most. It’s a blast, albeit a slightly acerbic one. Turn over, though, and there’s the reflective side. You’d think the former would be the most immediate and if you don’t get ‘Not Gonna Kill You’ from the very first listen, then your musical tabs are seriously out of whack. But it’s the second side that impresses right out of the box, demonstrating that pretty-sounding songs don’t have to be about cutie-pie themes. Highlights include the ever-so-cool, late-night vibe of ‘Those Were The Days’. The guitar at the end of ‘Sister’. The lyrics throughout. “Was it me you were thinking of? All the time when you thought of me, Or was it your mother?”, from ‘Heart Shaped Face’. “I dare you to understand, What makes me a woman”, from ‘Woman’. It all culminates in the piano-led ballad, ‘Pops’. As the voice cracks, you wonder how both you and she are going to make it through to the end of the song. MY WOMAN is a very special record. And with it Angel Olsen has shown that she is a very special artist.