Angel Olsen - "Pops" (Singles Going Steady)

by PopMatters Staff

2 February 2017

Winter echoes through chilly “Pops”, a song that seeps into the bones with lovelorn longing.
Photo: Amanda Marsalis 

Chris Ingalls: Angel Olsen’s latest single is a beautiful, sparse, fragile ballad with her breaking voice accompanied only by what sounds like an upright piano that’s seen better days. There’s an inherent sadness in the song and the recording that seems to come from pain and despair. The minimalist arrangement works beautifully here and gives the song the right amount of emotion. [8/10]
  

Adriane Pontecorvo: Winter echoes through chilly “Pops”, a song that seeps into the bones with lovelorn longing. Angel Olsen’s voice sounds like it’s shivering, the perfect moody touch to a moody tune. It’s a case in point of how there are no new stories, but of how execution can be much more important than originality. It’s hard not to sympathize with the woe that wracks Olsen’s lyrics, as ubiquitous as her sentiments of unrequited love are—and have always been—in art. [7/10]

Paul Carr: A Beautifully, sombre lo-fi requiem that sounds nothing like anything on her most recent album No Woman. Supported by fragile piano chords, Olsen croons a painful, often excruciating, ode to a relationship that finishes but never really ends. The breaking vocals and the aching lyrics bear the pain and scars of lost love with lines like “I’ll be the thing that lives in your dream when it’s gone”. It is heartbreakingly sincere message emphasized by the stark, sparseness of the musical arrangement.  A vulnerable and brooding piece that will live with you long after the final chord has flittered away, just like the memories of those we don’t want to forget. [8/10]

Scott Zuppardo: I’m fanatical over her last year’s My Woman of which “Pops” is the latest single. Her voice out of the studio is fantastic, just tempestuously mixed to cut on every single emotion viable through the human brain. This is beautiful music in every way. [9/10]

SCORE: 8.00

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