Angel Olson’s “My Woman”: Music review

Oh my god this new Angel Olson album is divine! This third offering sees her moving away from the sparser less orchestrated arrangements of her earlier albums, her voice stronger and more confident, and her songwriting and performances demonstrating more influences. The album opener, “Intern,” is more Lana Del Rey than the Leonard Cohen-esque Olson from prior albums, followed by “Never Be Mine” with sweet subtle nuances in the vocal melodies and a nostalgic 50s pop rock flavor.
“Shut Up Kiss Me” reminds me of 80s British rock, something like a Bowie song around the end of the glamrock phase, the vocals growling like a cross between Mick Jagger, Iggy Pop, and PJ Harvey. The chord progression and light distortion of “Give it up” bring to mind indie pop rock songs by bands like the Pixies or Nirvana, while it’s Led Zeppelin or maybe Janis Joplin’s band that seemed to spring mind when I listened to “Not gonna kill you.”
“Heart Shaped Face” marks a return to the more Mazzy Starr air of the earlier album “Burn your fire for no witness,” while “Sister” mixes 50s/60s pop rock into the blend. After the slow dreamy “Those were the days,” “Woman” progresses from a languid song around an acid-trip Beatles bass line to something that sounds like a slow extended Pink Floyd jam. The album closes with the stripped down “Pops,” lone vocals over echoey piano.
This copy of the album came with a bonus CD of four demos – “Give it up,” “Heart shaped face,” “Never be mine” and “Sister.”
I’m sorry I missed her New York gig now!

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