Angel Olsen is a Folk Rock singer whose calming music is somewhat lost on me. Her singing is soft and the guitar playing borderlines dull at points for me. I don’t really like this sort of music, but after all the good reviews this album has been getting they have made me feel as if I’m missing out on something, yet now that I’ve listened to this album, I can safely say that I had the experience that I expected.
‘Forgiven/Forgotten’ is good. However, opener ‘Unfucktheworld’ is just strangely peaceful to open the album, which I see as giving off the wrong message. If ‘Burn Your Fire…’ started with ‘Forgiven/Forgotten’ then I would be excited for this album, a spark of fire would actually start inside of me, urging me to move on to the next song and the next one.
The positive thing about the first three tracks are that they are short. Angel has compacted herself into sub three minute garage folk rock songs that work, but when stretched out, things can become a little tenuous. ‘White Fire’ I feel I would enjoy at the end of the album, or maybe halfway through and album, to show sonic change, a change in direction; I would like it if it had significance instead of fooling me into thinking the album was over and done with.
The rest of the album is inoffensive and un-impressionable. I enjoy ‘Stars’ but ‘Iota’ is almost another false ending. What is this, a post modernist novel?
When we actually get to closer ‘Windows’ we are softened even more; we are numbed. There is no fire in ‘Burn Your Fire For No Witness’, there is just lukewarm bath water. You can clean yourself in it if you like, and some people might enjoy it because people like strange things you know? But for me it’s just average. I have no strong feelings either way, it’s not really an album I want to consume for weeks on end; it’s just too plain.