“I NEED TO BE YOUTHFULLY FELT, CAUSE GOD, I NEVER FELT YOUNG.”
If being felt is the mission, it is executed quite well.
68 minutes in a sweaty Louisiana juke joint, raunchy guitar riffs, and an old man’s voice – that’s what Hozier feels like. Expect this old man is just 24 years old and doesn’t hail from the South, this old soul hails from Wicklow, Ireland.
Two EPs and a “Take Me To Church” visual that sparked controversy has put a staple in Andrew Hozier-Byrne’s budding star power. He’s an adamant indulgent power of a good metaphor, intertwining sex and religion, learned and inherited behaviors, and love and loss, all of which are accompanied by a dark and surly pattern of figurative language. The lyricism of Hozier is a beast, both politically and realistically, with tracks like “It Will Come Back” and drowsy duet “In A Week” rummaging through intense imagery that leaves the listener jaw-dropped.
Hozier’s voice sounds like a separate physical being with inflictions and runs, and all of the other great stuff stuffed strategically in between to make you feel every emotion at once. “To Be Alone” and “My Love Will Never Die” are powerfully moving tearjerkers, while “Someone New” and “Work Song” are the foot-tapping, downhome lullabies. And with cool song titles like “Angel of Small Death and the Codeine Scene,” what is there to deny?
Hozier is a noisey debut that will most certainly generate a plethora of well-deserved accolades for this newbie. If albums were made into feature films, this would be one to adapt. With its heavy mouthpiece and dripping artistry, it leaves its audience dumbstruck and begging for more. After all, all of the truly great seem to be foreigners.
“Don’t you ever tame your demons, but always keep them on a leash.”
What song do you have on repeat? Did Hozier live up to the hype? Let us know in the comments below.
*This review of Hozier is based on the 18-track Deluxe Edition.
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