An emotional country album
Angel Olsen, a popular folk artist, recently released an impressive album: Big Time. As Olsen wrote this album, she experienced a lot including coming out as queer to her family and friends, losing both parents and falling in love. This album details all of those personal experiences and turns them into art. Olsen takes her folk style and leans further into her country roots than in her past albums. This is an impressive collection of songs that is sure to make the listeners feel all the same emotions that she experienced while writing.
The first track, “All the Good Times,” is a laid-back song focused on storytelling. With influences from country, folk and contemporary music, Olsen blends all the styles to create an easy-listening piece with a focal point on the lyrics. She sings about a relationship that is falling apart where the two subjects gradually grow distant. It is not bitter or happy; it is simply an observant and reflective narrative of a relationship that has slowly burned out, making it a track that will resonate with many different listeners.
The second track on the album, “Big Time,” takes on an even more country sound. With a twang in her voice, Olsen sings about falling in love. Her crooning voice tells her story over acoustic and steel guitar. She sings about loving someone “Big Time,” which makes for a very romantic, sweet and appreciative song, possibly to her new partner.
The seventh track, “This Is How It Works,” is another country song, but this one is heartbreaking. Olsen sings of the tough times that she has been through while trying to search for a glimmer of hope and light in the darkness. These lyrics could possibly be referring to the loss of both her parents that she experienced while writing this album. Her crooning voice cracks and cries with emotion. The accompaniment is gentle, yet full, with guitars, piano and drums.
The following song, “Go Home,” is another heartbreaking song on this album. Full of honesty, her lyrics are about feeling as if she does not belong and how nothing is the same anymore. She longs for simpler days and describes a home that she can not return to because it no longer exists. These lyrics are heartbreaking, and her vocals only add to the emotion while she first sings gently, but then belts out as the song escalates. The accompaniment is simple with country roots that allow the listener to focus on her voice and the lyrics.
The ninth song, “Through The Fires,” is a gentle story told over orchestral strings and angelic harmonies. She sings of learning to let go of what has brought her down in the past, so she can live and love to her fullest. While the accompaniment may sound somewhat melancholic, the lyrics are filled with hope and reassurance. Behind her voice are orchestral strings, piano and gentle percussion. These instruments allow her voice to shine through but bring more emotion to the song.
Angel Olsen’s album Big Time is an emotion-filled, country-inspired album that tells stories of love, heartbreak, grief and loss. Olsen looks through a personal lens and sings from the heart, creating an album that is sure to move listeners.