Big Time by Angel Olsen [8/10]

Big Time” dims the raw-edged fury that first attracted me to Angel Olsen, but the melodic and lyrical chops, and the crystalline voice both stay strong, so, to my surprise, I enjoyed and was moved by this honeyed, countrified album. With lyrics imbued with emotions from coming out and loss of parents, there is a rare surfeit of optimism on the first two twangy tracks, “All the Good Times” and the title song. The mood darkens on “Dream Thing,” and I shed a tear when she sings, high and clear, “I was looking at old you, looking at who you’ve become.” My standout track, “Right Now,” build from C&W into 60s torch pop, ending with defiance I felt: “I’m telling you right now, right now.”

Big Time is a new Angel Olsen chapter, as powerful and moving as has ever been. If you’re not a fan, why not?

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