TFN Album Review: Angel Olsen has become one of the premiere indie voices over the last several years which was boosted by her TFN Blazing Top 5 record in 2016, My Woman. From this point in time, Olsen has been building momentum and style which has all come together on All Mirrors.
This record soars musically and vocally. All Mirrors takes a more introspective look lyrically and it makes sense that Olsen originally recorded a more bare bones version of the record but thankfully she went all out to also include the band for a version. This band inclusion also incorporates a 14-piece orchestra which takes All Mirrors to a completely different sonic level and transcends Angel Olsen into the perfect conductor.
You can hear this new edge from the opening track “Lark.” The song starts with low level strings that build like thunder as Olsen paves the path with her spotless vocals. The strings then swoop back in and out in perfect synch with Olsen’s level of vocal power that simply leaves the listener stunned with its sophistication and excellence. Most of the songs here stay within this storytelling tempo and complex arrangements so there is not a track as foot tapping and immediate as 2016’s “Shut Up Kiss Me,” but I also would not call All Mirrors low key because the sprawling exploding moments are plentiful and the skipping rhythm in a song like “What It Is” eventually can blow out your speakers.
The production, the writing and the delivery all come together seamlessly on All Mirrors. The album proves the point that great songwriting is always great songwriting. The songs can be acoustic or in this case, full orchestra pieces but in the end Angle Olsen tells her story and increasingly engages the listener with every spin. All Mirrors is easily one of the best records released in 2019 and represents the new high bar in Olsen’s catalog!
Angel Olsen Review History: Phases (2017); My Woman (2016)
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– Reviewed by Thomas Wilde