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Country : United States Label : Jagjaguwar Genres and styles : Americana / Folk Year : 2020
Angel Olsen

Whole New Mess

· by Alain Brunet

For the American Angel Olsen, this whole new mess is a return to an accounting of her songwriting. The intention is to highlight the value of songs stripped of their rich arrangements, in this case nine tracks from All Mirrors and two new ones – “Whole New Mess” and “Waving, Smiling”. It’s as if the pre-production is being made public, with the certainty that the chords and tone of the guitar, the grain and timbre of her voice, the quality of the lyrics, in short, the framework of these songs, acclaimed a year earlier, was robust enough to hold up in their simplest form. A few light ornaments gracing the whole thing, this is a minimalist reinterpretation of All Mirrors, adaptable to all campsites, bonfires, and living-room fireplaces. Of course, there’s a harmonic poverty and guitar playing at the least limited, that the previous coverings made us overlook. The album therefore falls back on the vibrant expression of Angel Olsen, the typical voice of American folk-rock. It’s also an opportunity to revisit her lyrics, imbued with a vulnerability that bears witness to an intimate life recently disturbed by impromptu changes of direction, in love as in friendship. A predictably folk opus, Whole New Mess is intended for fans of the singer, writer, and composer. It is unlikely that others will follow suit…

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