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ALBUM REVIEW: Hozier’s “Wasteland, Baby!”

Hozier's music video for the new album's title track features many underwater scenes.

photo courtesy: NME.com

After five long years of waiting for something new from the “Take Me to Church” star, Hozier‘s new album “Wasteland, Baby!” delivered.

An intricate selection of sounds has the listener wanting more. The album contains songs from the previously released EP “Nina Cried Power” and much more.

His angelic voice makes this over an hour-long album an easy listen all the way through. His soft tones in songs “As it was” and “Wasteland, Baby!” contrast well with the more upbeat pop melodies of “Shrike” and “Nina Cried Power,” which includes artist Mavis Staples.

“‘Wasteland, Baby!’ is relatively free of the too-high expectations that tend to plague young artist’s anticipated second albums,” said Rolling Stone reviewer Jonathan Bernstein.

On his first album the focus was centered around what was happening in the world at the time. Like hit song “Take Me to Church” as a focus on the LGBTQ+ community. But as for this album Hozier had a new goal, love.

“There’s no plan, there’s no race to be run

The harder the rain, honey, the sweeter the sun

There’s no plan, there’s no kingdom to come

I’ll be your man if you got love to get done,” lyrics like these in song “No Plan” show the versatility of how Hozier brings forth a message like love.

“It’s trying to look at the warm center of human kindness and you find that in ‘Wasteland, Baby!,’” said artist Hozier for Billboard magazine.

Artist Hozier also wanted this album to focus on what was happening in the world he expresses this his interview with Billboard magazine. But after five years of waiting a lot has happened in the world. This lead to Hozier feeling the pressure of the current events to bring to his music.

“There’s a few lyrical themes on the record, references throughout the album to the seas rising and some of those concerns,” said Hozier.

“It’s not the wall, but what’s behind it

Oh, the fear of fellow man, it’s mere assignment

And everything that we’re denied

By keeping the divide

It’s not the waking, it’s the rising,” in song “Nina Cried Power” the optimistic rhythm plays along side lyrics like these to draw in the listener to hear the hidden messages of real world problems being faced today.

The power of this album isn’t just appealing to the ear, but to the heart. This is one trait Hozier focused on bringing to his new album. The enjoyment of music and personal beliefs.

And as a listener, you feel this. As if the album isn’t enough, it complements a tour that started in  March and will visit 26 cities.

At a Glance:

By: Hozier

Record Label: Rubyworks Records

Tour start date: March 10, 2019

Rating 4.5/5 stars

Release date: March 1, 2019

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