Burn Your Fire for No Witness Image
Metascore
84

Universal acclaim - based on 36 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 46 Ratings

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  • Summary: The full-length release for the Missouri-born singer-songwriter was produced with John Congleton.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 35 out of 36
  2. Negative: 0 out of 36
  1. Mar 11, 2014
    96
    Burn Your Fire for No Witness’ eleven songs benefit greatly from the heightened sense of clarity afforded by the more spacious arrangements.
  2. Feb 12, 2014
    90
    Burn Your Fire, through increased complexity of instrumentation, creates a new dynamic--the vocal is more understated and reserved, less elusive and divergent --it's autonomy partially tethered by the whole ensembles balanced interrelation.
  3. Feb 18, 2014
    83
    Burn Your Fire for No Witness conjures the past without ever imitating it, swirling its influences into something intimate, impressionistic and new.
  4. Feb 12, 2014
    80
    This superb second album does indeed make a dramatic leap forward. [Mar 2014, p.90]
  5. Feb 18, 2014
    80
    There is a lot of heartbreak on Burn Your Fire For No Witness, as well as a lot of pleasing anachronism; a lot of hard-won resignation and what you might call stern vulnerability, a quality that Olsen shares with Joni Mitchell without sounding at all like Mitchell.
  6. Feb 14, 2014
    80
    Progression is a great thing to hear in any artist's work, and there's plenty of that to the largely excellent Burn Your Fire. Yet its louder moments at the minute seem mostly in place to provide contrast, with Olsen remaining at her most engaging when speaking to you in whispers.
  7. Feb 18, 2014
    60
    It's a balanced album by a spirit who seems anything but.

See all 36 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 6
  2. Negative: 0 out of 6
  1. Feb 24, 2014
    10
    A distinctive haunting voice from a new artist (for me) which is what I really wanted Lorde to sound like. In hindsight, the Grammy's need toA distinctive haunting voice from a new artist (for me) which is what I really wanted Lorde to sound like. In hindsight, the Grammy's need to find suitable people to select contenders for best Alternative Rock artists. The best they could do, out of so many more qualified alternative/indie artists was give Macklemore the Grammy? Pullease! Anyway, I hope this great singer/songwriter, Angel Olsen, gets the attention she deserves. Yes! You DO have the voice, Angel. Expand
  2. Feb 20, 2014
    9
    Angel Olsen , presents an incredible journey to the melancholy and the loneliness , this excellent album has a compendium of songs that areAngel Olsen , presents an incredible journey to the melancholy and the loneliness , this excellent album has a compendium of songs that are rich in lyricism and faithful in music, his truly talent confirms that she is not only a ordinary folk girl , is a powerful woman. Expand
  3. Feb 22, 2014
    8
    A serene folk album about loneliness and broken hearts. The music, while minimal, is good. The lyrics are beautiful, with a great voice toA serene folk album about loneliness and broken hearts. The music, while minimal, is good. The lyrics are beautiful, with a great voice to sing them.

    The first half of the album is okay, but it's the second half (from "Stars" till the end) where the album truly shines. This album would have got a much lower score if not for these five last tracks.
    Expand
  4. Nov 19, 2014
    8
    On hearing the opening track for the first time I was struck by the blend of countryesque, Patsy Cline type vocals and the indie rock powerOn hearing the opening track for the first time I was struck by the blend of countryesque, Patsy Cline type vocals and the indie rock power chords being beat out on a muffled acoustic guitar. The set up of the song highlights Olsen's distinct, a type of indie country rock with a large dose of pop in there. If I were to make comparisons it would with early Lou Reed but with a severe country twist. The record is made up of a really strong first side and a solidly decent second half. It's a pity that the quality fades a little, if Olsen had managed to maintain the first half's quality throughout it could have been one of the albums of the year. What your left with is still well worth checking out. Expand
  5. Apr 23, 2014
    5
    This album is a change of pace from her previous album, departing from the bold, rootsy sound on her previous release. Delving into genres ofThis album is a change of pace from her previous album, departing from the bold, rootsy sound on her previous release. Delving into genres of Folk and Garage Rock here. Overall it's handled pretty clumsily. The lo-fi nature doesn't help much either. Not really a bad album, but not really any good either. Definitely a step back in progress from her previous release. Expand
  6. Feb 21, 2014
    4
    I'm genuinely surprised by these absurdly high reviews. I get that you have to appreciate the lo-fi folk genre to get into an album like this,I'm genuinely surprised by these absurdly high reviews. I get that you have to appreciate the lo-fi folk genre to get into an album like this, but there are way too many bland, filler tracks on here to give it a positive review. Yeah, some of the tracls like Hi-Five and High & Wild have some appeal to them, but to me there's not one song on the album that grabs a hold and doesn't let go. For people like me that focus more on the instruments rather than the lyrics, I just don't get the appeal of the album. Not trying to tell anyone else how to feel about it, but as someone who loves the folk genre, this album doesn't cut it for me. Expand

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