Angel Olsen: Big Time [Album Review]

Angel Olsen
Big Time

Angel Olsen’s career has been on an upward trajectory ever since her debut album, Half Way Home, was released in 2012. Now on her sixth album, Big Time continues her growth as the record itself pulls back some from the orchestra pieces that comprised 2019’s All Mirrors.

Pedal steel is a mainstay instrument on Big Time as Americana type song structures dominate the full length. The style not only connects back to her simpler debut but also is the perfect delivery for the absolute tough subject matter that Olsen tackles. Not only was the record written as Angel was coming out as queer, and having her first experience of queer love and heartbreak, but Olsen’s parents passed within weeks of each other, just after Olsen came out to them.

That backstory makes every song on Big Time even more emotional and clearly gives each soulful line a deeper purpose. Pick the track, “Ghost On,” “This Is How It Works,” “Right Now” or one of the other seven and you will hear Olsen’s memories, grace, struggle, strife, grief, and hope. That hope is the key to the entire record though as you can hear the light in every song. The will to push through, the will to try again and how to pick up and move on when the bottom falls out. These are all the life lessons that you will hear on Big Time. The delivery, the topics and the salvation found is all wrapped up in the power of music here as Angel Olsen once again shows that there are no limits to her talent!

“All The Good Times” / “Big Time” / “Right Now”

Neko Case / Waxahatchee / Erin Rae

Aisles EP (2021) / All Mirrors (2019) / Phases (2017)My Woman (2016)

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Thomas Wilde

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