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Album of the Week: With “Big Time,” Angel Olsen Reaches the Pinnacle of Her Creative Identity

by kathy iandoli

Sometimes it takes life-altering events for an artist to reach the pinnacle of their creative identity. This is the heart of Angel Olsen‘s Big Time. While the singer/songwriter always had a layer of vulnerability in her work, she’s exploring its depths like never before. Opener “All the Good Times” is an idyllic entry as Olsen coos with nostalgia, and she continues that emotion with “Dream Thing”. Having lost her parents in tandem, she taps into that grief on “This Is How It Works”, where her feelings are palpable. “Go Home” is equally poignant, though Olsen closes Big Time from a place of hope with “Chasing the Sun”. Turning pain into art is a superpower, and Angel Olsen is a superhero. Big Time is her most intimate work yet.

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