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ANGEL OLSEN Lark gets 7.5/10


Angel Olsen
Lark
Jagjaguwar/Inertia

7.5/10

The second single from Angel Olsen’s fourth studio album All Mirrors continues where the first single – the title track – left off. And then some. As a single, Lark is epic. Starting quietly, the chorus bursts forth with thundering drums and swelling strings behind Olsen’s soaring vocals.

The breakdowns are more classic Olsen, where she sings in a clear conversational style to get to the personal stuff. But these quiet passages build with gathering strings and an incredibly big sound. Angel Olsen has certainly sounded powerful before, but behind a full-scale band and orchestra she becomes a force of nature.

Later in the track, the strings take an instrumental journey, sounding a little like something from Led Zeppelin’s Physical Graffiti. These sections are highly affecting, capturing the trepidation of a breakup, but finding your confidence again through reconnecting with who you really are.

Although Olsen’s new prodigious sound moves towards Bonnie Raitt territory, Olsen’s roots as a folkie and gifts as a singer are significant and keep the song grounded. Put together, All Mirrors so far appears to push her songs into larger realms and may finally see her gain new crossover fans and bigger stages in the process.

PAUL DOUGHTY

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