Angel Olsen - All Mirrors
Oct 2, 2019 (updated Oct 6, 2019)
84
If you look back at my overall scores for the 2010's you can see how much I like Angel Olsen. The moment I heard Burn Your Fire back in 2014 I was hooked. Her, Beach House, and FJM have undoubtedly been my favorite artists from this decade.

This album is good, it really is, but right now to me this just sounds like me losing AO to the rest of the world. Gone is the folk rock, gone is the indie rock. I can't hold it against her for looking to make something so grand. I can't hate her for getting these headhunter studio musicians to craft this kind of music. I can't criticize her for closing out the decade with this grand statement. I've listened to her other albums 100's of times, so truthfully I'm still processing this.

Something feels different about this though. Not just with the music, but with the 'roll out'. The magazine cover photo shoots, the interviews, the social media posts. The whole thing is just different. Angel Olsen was my own little thing for a long time, and that started to change with the past album. And now this album will just further push her to the masses. This album makes me feel some kind of way, but I can't really explain it yet.

I've read that she was going to release these songs in two versions. This big sweeping versions we have here, plus a spare solo acoustic album. I have to believe that the 'solo' versions would appeal to me even more than these versions, 'cause that's just my taste. Maybe we will hear these songs stripped down, and maybe I will prefer them. Or maybe Angel is just moving on to other things, and maybe I need to accept that. Either way, I am happy to see so much universal praise. And for the people who are just catching on now, you need to go back and listen to her earlier work so you can see where she came from.
3 Comments
Oct 18, 2019
I feel you and this really sums up how I feel about Annie Clark and St. Vincent. you feel connected to that first experience and discovery in a visceral way. then when more people listen and the buzz gets louder you are happy the artist gets recognition but you worry that more appeal means more money , and more money means pressure to conform to the algorithm. I knew St. Vincent had reached the point of no return when she started working with David Byrne. then came the utterly mainstream Masseduction and it was all over for me. I can't listen to her now and find it painful to go back to the earlier stuff. I really hope this does not happen with Angel Olsen. I know exactly where she came from and I know exactly where you are coming from.
Dec 19, 2019
I feel you. I have been listening to her since Burn Your Fire, and I love that record. With all of the hype around this record, I feel like I am supposed to like it, but gone are a lot of things that drew me to her music in the first place. Maybe it's unfair to her. I'm hoping for the same chills I got when I heard "Unfucktheworld" for the first time. I just keep listening to this record looking for moments like that, or the rocking tracks on My Woman. I just haven't gotten it. It's all pretty, but nothing has gripped me. I like "Summer." Maybe that's the thread I pull on.

Coincidentally, this is being compared to the new Weyes Blood record in its style, and I can't get into that album either. Maybe this is just outside my wheelhouse.
Dec 19, 2019
It is like Weyes in a way... they both just sound GRAND. They sound like $$$, they sound so clean, especially in terms of production. But in both Weyes and Angel I prefer earlier works to the 2019 output.
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