Albums to watch

Whole New Mess

Angel Olsen

Whole New Mess

Fifth full-length studio release from the St Louis-born singer-songwriter recorded in 2018 at The Unknown (Phil Elverum and Nicholas Wilbur‘s converted church studio in the Pacific Northwest)

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  1. 9.0 |   Loud And Quiet

    Once again, Angel Olsen has managed to create an intensely personal album that will illuminate what you’re already feeling but didn’t know how to say
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  2. 9.0 |   All Music

    Managing to be uniquely stylized and engrossing while stripped bare, Whole New Mess not only works in isolation, it deserves equal footing in Olsen's discography
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  3. 9.0 |   musicOMH

    Whole New Mess is a showcase of Angel Olsen’s limitless talent, and proof that she appears to be able to generate heart-bursting, electrifying emotional power from the simplest of means. She is an artist to be treasured, and her music is just as precious
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  4. 8.5 |   Under The Radar

    Although simplistic in delivery, Whole New Mess feels like you’re eavesdropping on catharsis, crouched on the ground, with an ear to a door—so close you can hear her Olsen breathing between phrases
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  5. 8.3 |   Consequence Of Sound

    The folk star reimagines masterpiece All Mirrors in a far more intimate manner
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  6. 8.0 |   DIY

    It’s a home run
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  7. 8.0 |   Rolling Stone

    The singer-songwriter expertly channels Springsteen’s Nebraska in her most vulnerable album yet
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  8. 8.0 |   Pitchfork

    Recorded in Anacortes, Washington, the stark original version of the songwriter’s 2019 album All Mirrors makes the experience of solitude sound metaphysical. The songs are spare, but still feel electric
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  9. 8.0 |   Mojo

    Well-served by the sparse guitar-and-vocal arrangements and intimate, reverb-y ambience. Print edition only

  10. 8.0 |   Uncut

    They have the grit and immediacy of demos, but Whole New Mess sounds just as powerful and just as finished as its more polished predecessor. Print edition only

  11. 8.0 |   NME

    This stripped-back LP of songs that appeared on last year's acclaimed 'All Mirrors' – but were recorded beforehand – reveals their true power
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  12. 8.0 |   Exclaim

    There's no telling where Angel Olsen will go next, what places she has yet to discover. But Whole New Mess proves once again that she requires nothing more than her voice and guitar to craft a world all her own – it's a place unlike any other
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  13. 7.8 |   Spectrum Culture

    Some fans will no doubt be overjoyed to hear these songs as Olsen originally envisioned them, haunted and hazy
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  14. 7.5 |   The Line Of Best Fit

    There are two songs on Whole New Mess that are completely new to listeners. One is the title track, which kicks off the album with Olsen promising to make the necessary changes in order to move on
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  15. 7.5 |   Northern Transmissions

    The past can be messy, ugly, and different than how we remember it. But Whole New Mess proves it can also be worth looking back anyway, And sometimes, like the original versions of the nine All Mirrors songs, the past can be more illuminating and beautiful than the present
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  16. 7.0 |   Paste Magazine

    The singer/songwriter returns with a bare-bones approach to heartache on her new(ish) record
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  17. 7.0 |   PopMatters

    No one would call Angel Olsen's Whole New Mess a pretty album. It's much too stark. But there's something riveting about the way Olsen coos to herself that's soft and comforting
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  18. 6.0 |   The FT

    The stripped-down songs are intriguing but the vocal reverb on many tracks eventually becomes tiring
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  19. 6.0 |   Gigwise

    Like a demo version of All Mirrors
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  20. 5.5 |   Beats Per Minute

    She’s basically incapable of making a song that isn’t at least pretty, but this album shows that some songs are simply meant to have more meat on the bone, and others are meant to be left out of the conversation altogether
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