When an already-established artist puts out a new album, it makes sense that a lot of the critical analysis and discussion surrounding it will focus on how it compares to what's come before. Instead of evaluating "My Woman" in a vacuum, most of the reviews that I've read are extolling the virtues of Olson's decision to break free from expectations and tackle a wider variety of genres.
With My Woman being the first Angel Olson album that I've listened to, I... now want to go back and listen to her old material that apparently pigeonholed her in the eyes of some people? The first half of the album opens with more energetic, poppier songs, like the playful "Shut Up, Kiss Me" and its get to the point already take on romance. Don't get me wrong: these songs are fun, and they are peppered with great moments, but I was more impressed with the slower songs in the second half. The dreamy, echo-y vocals in "Heart Shaped Face" and the lengthy ballad "Sister" wow'ed me.