ANGEL Olsen's life has undergone multiple upheavals since the release of her last album of new material, All Mirrors, in 2019.
Naturally there's been the pandemic, but Olsen's private life has also been transformed. Firstly the 35-year-old American singer-songwriter came out as lesbian last year and found new love, but she also dealt with loss, following the death of both her parents.
The highs and lows of these recent developments are clearly present on Olsen's sixth studio album Big Time.
After the cinematic orchestral arrangements of All Mirrors and indie styling of Olsen's spectacular 2016 album My Woman, Big Time sees a return to her country-folk roots.
It's more subdued and less ostentatious compared to the excesses of Lark or the radio accessibility of Shut Up Kiss Me. This means Big Time is less accessible than Olsen's previous work and the album does meander, at times, into slow balladry.
While Big Time is musically and melodically safer than previous efforts, the emotional scope of Olsen's vocals remains her superpower.
Lyrically it's also among her most arresting and honest achievements.
On All My Flowers Olsen sounds at breaking point as she opens her broken heart to fresh love and on Right Now she explores that point when a budding relationship reaches it's most frightening moment.
"Why'd you have to go and make it weird/ Saying things you think I need to hear," Olsen croons over a steady sway of Americana.
But instead of being scared, Olsen finds strength in the relationship as the music builds to a crescendo and the album's most thrilling moment.
"I won't live another lie/ About the feelings that I have/ I won't be with you and hide."
This Is How It Works merges warm country slide guitar with synths and Go Home is another emotional roller coaster as Olsen questions her place in this rapidly-changing world.
Big Time might lack the potency of My Woman and All Mirrors, but Angel Olsen remains an emotional powerhouse that continues burn bright.
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