Whole New Mess Image
Metascore
83

Universal acclaim - based on 16 Critic Reviews What's this?

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8.4

Universal acclaim- based on 21 Ratings

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  • Summary: The fifth full-length studio release for the singer-songwriter features new sparser recordings with just her voice and guitar of several tracks from 2019's All Mirrors.
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 16
  2. Negative: 0 out of 16
  1. Aug 28, 2020
    90
    Whole New Mess has a lot to carry on its shoulders – and carry it, it does. This is a superb album, and a more than worthy companion to its sister.
  2. Aug 28, 2020
    85
    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. But soon enough she lets you in, holding your hand, as you both sort through the pain.
  3. Aug 25, 2020
    80
    Where All Mirrors pushed at the sky, Whole New Mess explores the vastness of the mind and peculiarities of the heart. It may take repeat listens to hear these roughly hewn songs as more than demos for their gilded twins, but once you've waded deep enough into the record's shifting, disintegrating twilight, it becomes something wholly new.
  4. Mojo
    Aug 25, 2020
    80
    Well-served by the sparse guitar-and-vocal arrangements and intimate, reverb-y ambience. [Oct 2020, p.84]
  5. Sep 1, 2020
    80
    Whole New Mess has a singular power. The songs are spare but still feel electric, and despite their lower volume compared to All Mirrors, you couldn’t necessarily call them quiet. Their slow-strummed chords and finger-picked patterns are at times deliberately brittle and blown-out. Whole New Mess amplifies a different source of loudness.
  6. 75
    With these two albums [All Mirrors and Whole New Mess] she’s proven the vast range of her songwriting, and that she could go just about anywhere with what she does next.
  7. Aug 28, 2020
    55
    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.

See all 16 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 7
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 7
  3. Negative: 1 out of 7
  1. Aug 28, 2020
    10
    Phases meets All Mirrors, this is the rough idea that Olsen's makes real this time. Un álbum indie tan exquisito como una melodía celestial.
  2. Aug 28, 2020
    10
    Cada trabajo de Angel es un completo placer ser escuchado apenas descubrí a esta chica con All Mirrors pero con este álbum parece haberCada trabajo de Angel es un completo placer ser escuchado apenas descubrí a esta chica con All Mirrors pero con este álbum parece haber encontrado su estilo musical que le queda como anillo al dedo. Expand
  3. Sep 6, 2020
    10
    A true masterpiece, am I living or just enjoying the intimacy of Angel Olsen's most renowned album? I really don't know, thanks for all this mess.
  4. Aug 30, 2020
    10
    It is very simple but perfect, in this album there is nothing to spare, it is very similar to All Mirrors but very different
  5. Aug 28, 2020
    9
    Not many artists would be willing to release the demos of one of the most critically acclaimed albums of last year. However, Angel OlsenNot many artists would be willing to release the demos of one of the most critically acclaimed albums of last year. However, Angel Olsen presents the early versions of the songs which were released in her fourth studio album. While All Mirrors felt like a grandiose statement of Olsen’s artistry, Whole New Mess is full of rawness and vulnerability, which makes the songs sound more sincere. In her first solo act in years, Angel’s voice and talent as a songwriter are able to shine without the full ensemble masking any of the emotions that she was trying to deliver. Whole New Mess doesn’t feel like an unfinished product of All Mirrors. Instead, it feels like a completely different project which Angel had envisioned from the beginning. Expand
  6. Sep 28, 2020
    9
    Compared to All Mirrors, there is actual emotion and depth to these songs whereas its predecessor was muddled with needless flourishes andCompared to All Mirrors, there is actual emotion and depth to these songs whereas its predecessor was muddled with needless flourishes and sounds. Even with its minimalist approach, there is more life on Whole New Mess that blisters the heart. Expand
  7. Aug 30, 2020
    0
    Turn it up its your favorite song dance dance dance tothe trsh with this horrible album