Review by Rebecca Mae
After a five year hiatus from releasing music, Hozier returns with the kick-ass album, "Wasteland, Baby! "- The album debuted on the US Billboard charts and Irish Albums Chart at number one. Hozier performed his collection of songs from his self-titled debut album all the way until 2016. He then spent roughly a year and a half writing and recording his latest album, and it was worth the wait.
In comparison to his incredibly successful debut album, his second record lends a fresh and positive outlook to Hozier’s discography. Known for his darker lyrics and melancholy melodies, "Wasteland, Baby!" is composed of upbeat drums, incredible harmonies, and only one feature, making room for his comeback. Mavis Staples, a legendary blues and gospel singer, joins Hozier on the lead track off the album, "Nina Cried Power" ; this single was released prior to the album on an EP.
Hozier certainly did not disappoint with his return. The fourteen tracks that make up the album are super diverse from one another, but with common themes that link them together. Themes such as love, loss, happiness, and the capriciousness of life itself. The most notable feature of this album is the organic nature of each piece; from a listener’s perspective, it does not feel forced, as though Hozier was attempting to create another successful hit like "Take Me To Church." Mixed reviews have come in from critics about the album, but as an avid listener of Hozier, the vivacious sound of his newest collection of songs is refreshing, welcomed, and celebrated.
Hozier continues to excite and proves himself as a valuable musician. He pours himself in with each piece of work he releases, even among other great albums that have been released this year alongside his. Hozier is only improving, and his next moves will be ones to watch!