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4.5 out of 5 stars
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on February 27, 2014
This album is stunning. Within 3 full listens I was completely blown away. I would say that there is a little Cat Power, Patsy Cline, and Rilo KIley in the complicated blend that is Angel but she really is quite unique. The songs sound great but when you add the very cool and sometimes funny lyrics into the mix, the result is a wonderful masterpiece. I have obsessed over music for over 30 years now and have accumulated over 1000 albums and this album is likely to end up way up high on the top tier of my collection. I was late to discover Waxahatchee which I really like a lot but man this is just on another level for me. Several tracks stick out right away but it's those slower, longer tunes that are where the real treasure is. Also, Hi-Five is just way too perfect. Definitely worth a purchase.
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on March 24, 2014
I especially liked the fact I could clearly hear her voice and the words to the song without music drowning her out. She has a voice that is pleasant to listen to. I liked her and I hope she goes far in her career.
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on March 17, 2014
Discovered Angel Olsen streaming on NPR and could not wait for transition to Spotify. Bought CD (a rare thing). Glad I did. Voice has great character (not your pop queen), arrangements / productions are edgy and cool, but the real draw is the songwriting with lyrics that cleverly capture the human condition. A rare talent offering rare insights in a distinctive voice. Not an "upper" by any stretch of the imagination, but some catchy beats can be found (try "High & Wild" and "Stars") among the somber introspective songs (e,g, "Iota"). All are written and sung with meaning (heart and mind).
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon February 18, 2014
Angel Olsen has paid her dues. She has been a backing singer for Will Oldham and toured as a support act backing Neko Case in the UK last year. In this sophomore album "Burn your fire for no witness" she has staked a claim for wider recognition and on the evidence of this record her rise is as inevitable as it is unstoppable.

She is often compared to artists like Leonard Cohen and to be fair the old Canadian would be a "happy bunny" if he had constructed a song as good as Olsen's near seven minute "White Fire", not least the reflection that "Everything is tragic, it all just falls apart." This is haunting semi spoken melancholy of the highest order, with her husky voice also echoing the music of Cardiff past musical champions the Young Marble Giants. It would be wrong however to create the impression that this album ambles along with retreads of "Famous Blue Raincoat". Throughout it has highly charged electric songs not least the rollicking "Forgiven/Forgotten" which is straight out of the Black Francis and Kim Deal handbook. Other songs like "High & Wild" have a lo fi quality which is endearing with Olsen's dark lyrics holding attention throughout like a mid west P J Harvey. The choice of "Hi-Five' as a single is somewhat puzzling since its commercial appeal is limited but as a album track it adds to the fine sequencing. More powerful is the fuller rock punch of "Stars", alternatively the ragged alt country of the "Lights out" is an album highlight.

A gentler side to Olsen emerges in to the two songs that close the album when her wonderful voce dominates to full effect. The sad modern blues of "Enemy" showcases a confident talent whose songwriting skills are maturing at a frightening rate, while the gloriously lush "Windows" is a sublime finish to a varied and poetic record.

In the last analysis Angel Olsen has delivered a record from a relatively obscure position that demands intense musical scrutiny. "Burn Your Fire for no Witness" is an affecting suite of songs and after repeated listens constantly reveals new nuances and moods. God knows what the title alludes to but that is a mere detail when it is the music that fully demands our complete attention. Highly recommended.
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on April 19, 2014
I bought this on the heels of Courtney Barnett's double EP "Sea Of Split Peas" and was so
enthralled with the brilliance of that album that I didn't really listen to Ms. Olsen's album. "Yeah, It's
good.." was my assessment. With repeated listening, I have come to absolutely love this album,
Her balladry is intelligent without pretension, you can hear the influence of Leonard Cohen in some
songs but you can also hear a little Roy Orbison and the song High & Wild actually sounds like
it could be a cut right from the aforementioned Courtney Barnett album. There is wit, irreverence
and a great balance of R&R to deep (with a capital D) ballads (that brings to mind Marissa Nadler's
music) to make this a near perfect album.
Laura Veirs, Laura Marling, Courtney Barnett, Valerie June, and Marissa Nadler--the women folk(ies)
are kickin' the mens butts.
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on September 26, 2014
This album is a grower. There are a few songs that immediately stand out upon the first listen, like "unfucktheworld" "hi-five," and "forgiven/forgotten." Those I liked instantly because they were catchy and made for easy listening, but it's the other songs that really make this album special. The other tracks are solemn and thoughtful--they force you to listen closely, and to re-listen. Angel Olsen has such a unique singing style. It's Joni Mitchell-esque, but still all her own. Because the slower songs are more stripped down (the first listen stand-out tracks are backed by the band) they have a more intimate feel, which really lets you appreciate the tenderness of the songs and the interesting lyrics that accompany them.

I am so into her music now. This was the first album I've heard from her, and now I'm definitely going to go buy her debut. Check her out!
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on May 10, 2015
In the songs sung here,it's almost like Angel is hooking up with a very incredible reverb,and channelling Roy Orbison.She sings in a beautiful half-breath,near monotone like sound.Of course she is tremendous both herlyrics and melodies.She is endlessly surprising and this music of hers shows such skill,both performanc Her use of reverb is incredible...with a somewhat scary(dangerous)feel to the scene ,along with her astounding voice and perfected tonality.GetThis Now!!!!
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on March 19, 2015
I instantly really liked "Forgiven/forgotten", but the entire album has been also growing on me. Her style is pretty diverse and can range from jangly alt/country crooning to poppier indy anthems. I've played it already a handful of times, and notice that I enjoy it as a complete work.
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on March 13, 2014
On her 3rd solo album, Chicago artist Angel Olsen is here to unload & entertain, and she’s not
shy about it. Whether in a deceptively gentle acoustic number or a twang-guitar driven rocker,
she gathers her emotions in the voice and lays them all over your heart. Sometimes recalls
Neko Case, Lindi Ortega, Jesse Sykes, Scout Niblett, Erika Wennerstrom (Heartless Bastards).
This is Americana/folk-tinged indie rock with substance and a surprising power.
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on November 21, 2015
I absolutely love this album. Angel Olsen is one of my new favorite artists. This album of hers is great from start to finish. Excellent lyrics, beautiful musicality, and a voice that will haunt you. The music is simple and not overproduced. Cannot express how much I love this album.
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