Hozier is back with another alternative pop rock record that delivers a delicate pairing of interesting lyrics and impactful guitar driven tracks. After an explosive entry into the charts in 2014, following the viral video for ‘Take Me to Church’, Hozier has finally returned with a new album. Hozier’s vocal still packs a punch with its recognisable tone and power and the record offers endless sing along choruses alongside many memorable tracks.
‘Nina Cried Power’ is a definite highlight calling out chart music which the lacks a contain deeper meaning. It references, amongst others, Nina Simone, an artist who did not shy away from protest music.
‘Shrike’ is an interesting track, remaining simplistic in its instrumentation. Beginning with acoustic guitar and offering more of a folky sound, the lyrics really showcase Hozier’s ability as a lyricist. “Remember me love, when everyone is the shrike to your sharp and glorious thorn.” Hozier has never been one to make obvious lyrical choices and the poetic nature of ‘Shrike’ demonstrates this! Interestingly, ‘As It Was’, another simple track focused around acoustic guitar, is placed before ‘Shrike’ but both songs fit well beside each other and maintain the momentum of the album.
Having found a clever way to blend indie rock and commercial pop that appeals to a wide audience, Hozier is back with another great record that fits in the crossover. If you loved the first album, there is no reason why you won’t love this one just as much, as it offers Hozier’s familiar sound delivered perfectly. Wasteland Baby is a brilliant follow up to Hozier’s debut 5 years ago. It was definitely worth the wait!