Burn Your Fire for No Witness [Digipak]

Burn Your Fire For No Witness [Digipak]

Staff Review

Staff Pick

Original
Zach
HPB Staff

Burn Your Fire For No Witness

by Angel Olsen
Deserved accolades for one of the best albums of 2014!!

Angel Olsen's Burn Your Fire for No Witness has earned wide praise from music critics and deservedly so! Part of the fun stems from the diverse set of influences Olsen channels. The understated opening track is the best Nirvana song Cobain never wrote. It is followed by the grungy "Forgiven/Forgotten" which would not be completely out of place on Nevermind. From there, Olsen goes much further afield: "Hi-Five" recalls Roy Orbison while "White Fire" owes a debt to Leonard Cohen. Elements of other songs suggest Olsen has listened to her share of Neko Case and Florence and the Machine. This swirling storm of influences would be meaningless if the album as a whole was not such a coherent whole. Olsen is able to tie these songs together under a roots/America banner, all bolstered by songwriting with a true depth of emotion. "White Fire" and "Lights Out" are heartbreaking, yet tracks like "Stars" offer real catharsis. Then comes "Windows", which gives the listener an unexpected uplift as the finale. "Hold Your Fire" definitely marks a major step forward by Olsen. One of the best of 2014? Without any question!!

 
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When Angel Olsen's proper debut, Half Way Home, materialized in 2012, its spare indie folk compositions and subtle references to the greats of '50s country congealed into a restless whole. The album was great, but something in the way the songs connected with each other suggested that Olsen had something far more complex to say that wasn't quite getting through with Half Way Home, despite its fantastically crafted offerings. With Burn Your Fire for No Witness, Olsen expands in all directions, fully reaching the depth of expression hinted at on her last album while still lingering in the restlessness and searching feelings that make all of her work so captivating. Production work from John Congelton adds a different dimension to Olsen's sound, and many of the songs are bolstered with tasteful playing from drummer Josh Jaeger and bassist Stewart Bronaugh, as well as touches of organ, piano, and other various supportive sounds. More than anything, however, the heightened production and instrumentation just help to show how much Olsen's songs have grown and how confident she's become as a performer, even in the space of one album. While still bearing some similarities to Roy Orbison or lesser-known mid-'90s indie singer Edith Frost, Olsen's voice feels more fearlessly her own here, stepping out of the muted shadows to bellow and wail like some wild hybrid of PJ Harvey and Emmylou Harris on a rocking track like "Forgiven/Forgotten" or the more country-seeped "Hi-Five." The heartbreaking seven-minute dirge "White Fire" follows obviously in the footsteps of Leonard Cohen, but manages to succeed in its ambitious tribute, dire and personal rather than simple mimicry. The album seamlessly strolls from soaring numbers like "Lights Out" into a more stripped-down second half before ending with the gorgeous and inspired "Windows." The song's multi-tracked vocals and pained melody get into different territory than anything else on the record, leaving the door open for what's to come next and suggesting that Olsen will continue to push her development exponentially with her next album. ~ Fred Thomas, Rovi

  • Condition: --
    HPB condition ratings
    • New: Mint condition or still sealed (SS). Absolutely perfect in every way. New.
    • Fine/Like New (EX): No defects, little sign of use, well cared for. Plays perfectly. Close to new. Not necessarily sealed or unused, but close. Could be an unopened promotional or cut item. Sometimes called: mint-minus.
    • Very Good (VG): Will show some signs that it was played and otherwise handled by a previous owner who took good care of it.
    • Good (G): Attractive and well cared for, but no longer fresh. Minor signs of wear, scuffing or scratching, but will play almost perfectly. For vinyl: barely detectable crackles or pops.
    • Fair (FR): This item is in okay condition. For vinyl: good is not so good and the record may have low level crackles or pops when playing. CD: one or more tracks may skip.
    • Poor (P): Obviously well-worn and handled. Most vinyl collectors will not buy good or below, but some tracks on CD or vinyl will play.
    Conditions Guide
  • Format: Compact Disc
  • Sold by: --
  • Label: Jagjaguwar
  • UPC: 656605224428
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Track listings

  • 1. Unfucktheworld
  • 2. Forgiven/Forgotten
  • 3. Hi Five
  • 4. White Fire
  • 5. High & Wild
  • 6. Lights Out
  • 7. Stars
  • 8. Iota
  • 9. Dance Slow Decades
  • 10. Enemy
  • 11. Windows
 
HPB condition ratings
  • New: Item is brand new, unused and unmarked, in flawless condition.
  • Fine/Like New (F): No defects, little usage. May show remainder marks. Older books may show minor flaws.
  • Very Good (VG): Shows some signs of wear and is no longer fresh. Attractive. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
  • Good (G): Average used book with all pages present. Possible loose bindings, highlighting, cocked spine or torn dust jackets. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
  • Fair (FR): Obviously well-worn, but no text pages missing. May be without endpapers or title page. Markings do not interfere with readability. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
  • Poor (P): All text is legible but may be soiled and have binding defects. Reading copies and binding copies fall into this category. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
Conditions Guide
HPB condition ratings
  • New: Mint condition or still sealed (SS). Absolutely perfect in every way. New.
  • Fine/Like New (EX): No defects, little sign of use, well cared for. Plays perfectly. Close to new. Not necessarily sealed or unused, but close. Could be an unopened promotional or cut item. Sometimes called: mint-minus.
  • Very Good (VG): Will show some signs that it was played and otherwise handled by a previous owner who took good care of it.
  • Good (G): Attractive and well cared for, but no longer fresh. Minor signs of wear, scuffing or scratching, but will play almost perfectly. For vinyl: barely detectable crackles or pops.
  • Fair (FR): This item is in okay condition. For vinyl: good is not so good and the record may have low level crackles or pops when playing. CD: one or more tracks may skip.
  • Poor (P): Obviously well-worn and handled. Most vinyl collectors will not buy good or below, but some tracks on CD or vinyl will play.
Conditions Guide
HPB condition ratings
  • New: This movie is unopened and brand new.
  • Fine/Like New (EX): Near new. No defects, little sign of use. Plays perfectly. Not necessarily sealed or unused, but close. No skipping; no fuzzy or snowy frames in VHS.
  • Very Good (VG): Attractive and well cared for but no longer fresh. Minor signs of wear, but will play almost perfectly. For VHS: barely detectable distortion or very few fuzzy or snowy frames.
  • Good (G): This item is in okay condition and basically works well. There may be some minor distortion on VHS tape; slight scratching or wear on DVD.
  • Fair (FR): Basically plays, but may be obviously well-worn with some scratching or tape distortion.
  • Poor (P): Disc or tape is intact, but may be scratched or stretched. There may be skips or distortion or product defects.
Conditions Guide
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