Take me to church, the drought is officially over! After a 5-year album hiatus, Irish songsmith Hozier has blessed us with his highly awaited album Wasteland Baby! The album, which was released on March 1st features 14 tracks, including singles, Movement, Almost (Sweet Music), and Dinner & Diatribes.
It’s hard to imagine how Hozier could possibly top his debut hit and single, Take Me to Church, which is essentially a political statement about sexuality and the Catholic Church. In my opinion, it’s his best song, and after listening to Wasteland Baby!, my opinion still stands. Take Me to Church is iconic.
Wasteland Baby! is much lighter with sound and lyrics in comparison to his self titled album Hozier, which was released in 2014. Here’s a brief summary.
Almost (Sweet Music) is what the title claims to be, sweet music. The song opens up with a soft melody, and progressively becomes established throughout the track through the use of multiple instruments. It’s easy to lose yourself in the song with the descriptive lyrics and Hozier‘s signature soft, yet powerhouse vocals.
Talk is undoubtedly not the greatest song on the album, in my opinion. While the song is smooth with pristine lead vocals, the background vocals were, although sparse, just repetitive enough to clutter and ultimately mar the song. The church organ playing in the background, however, is a nice nod to his personal style. Overall this isn’t the type of song you can listen to on repeat, it’s overloaded with sounds, that can overwhelm even the toughest of senses. If you’re looking to try something different, this is the song for you, but do be warned that this song can feel stuffed with an overly complicated melody and seductive lyrics as “imagine being loved by me”.
Hm, sorry, but no thanks.
To Noise Making (Sing) is a catchy, upbeat song. If you’re not obsessed with repetitive lyrics, this isn’t the song for you, as the word sing is said sixty-six times! The meaning of the song is pretty explanatory with its title. It’s a celebration of singing, and it doesn’t matter whether you’re talented, the message is to ‘sing’. Not my personal favourite but out of the entire album I believe it has the makings of a hit, especially if you consider the popularity of Ed Sheeran’s similarly titled song, Sing.
In summary, although Wasteland Baby! has some hits and some misses it’s clear that Hozier is extremely unique and talented. However, it’s hard to live up to his mainstream hit Take Me to Church. The song overshadows the current album, and will possibly continue to do so in the future.
You might not hear Hozier’s latest tunes on mainstream radio, but he doesn’t seem too bothered. In an interview with The Sun, he said, “I don’t make music for the sake of it being a chart success. For this album, I made sure I was writing music that moved and gelled with me.”
I agree with his statement, and actually, praise him for making an album he gelled with. I applaud him for taking his time to create an album he’s proud of. There’s so much pressure on artists to produce mainstream tracks so quickly, sometimes they don’t have the opportunity to create the music they want.
If you want something unique and different to listen to, you can download the album here. This album didn’t take me to church, but it took me to Wasteland Baby!
Hozier is coming down under, check out the tour announcement here.