Hozier’s intense album makes for impressive debut

Kelly Wynne, Features Editor

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Indie rock artist Hozier has proven himself to be a large, if not the biggest, competitor in alternative music with the release of his self-titled debut album. ”Hozier” was third on the alternative album chart. Hozier’s hit single “Take Me To Church” made waves over the summer and put him on the map, but the single’s popularity will not overshadow his overall talent. Hozier has created an album that will leave listeners drooling for more, completely entranced by its brilliance.

The album, complete with 13 songs, plus four bonus tracks on the deluxe edition, shows multiple sides of his sound. With the first few released songs, it was expected that the album might fall into a loop of repetitive songs that, by the end, listeners can not tell apart. 

Luckily, this could not be further from the truth, although many of the songs have similar dark messages that make listeners think. The order of the album is tailored perfectly to give each song the recognition it deserves. “Take Me To Church” was a good foreshadowing to the album with a melancholy sound that listeners will find throughout. Despite this common sound, the line-up flows in a way to refresh listeners with the perfect amount of life after a long emphasis on death.

Among twisted melodies, “Jackie and Wilson” gives the first moment of life to a rather morbid run of songs. The song almost takes Hozier out of the alternative genre and into some kind of uncharted territory between old school rock and pop. Although the theme of love is a common thread connecting the album, “Jackie and Wilson” may be the least devastating expression of pure, undying love.

As the album progresses listeners will begin to realize how complex Hozier’s songs really are. With lyrics so brilliantly written, every word is important. Hozier has an obvious talent of wording things unlike other artists.

“In a Week,” featuring Karen Crowley, showcases a gruesome love story which speaks of the peacefulness of death. The song is complete with bone chilling harmonies as well as lyrics that will shock anyone with no background on the story it tells. Lyrics like “And they’d find us in a week when the weather gets hot, after the insects have made their claim, I’d be home with you,” speak for the depth of the entire album.

The album is jam packed with references of death and love, conflicting interests that make the album so intense. If listeners are expecting a happy-go-lucky soundtrack to dance along to, they have chosen the wrong album. Hozier has created a masterpiece for music enthusiasts to fully immerse themselves in.

Although overflowing with speak of death, the overall message is not depressing. It serves as a celebration of love, life and what comes after and will leave listeners with a peaceful mindset.

“Hozier” has proven to be the best first impression the music industry has seen in a long time. The complexity of the entire album makes it impossible not to feel connected to the songs and lyrics. In a case like this, the storylines do not need to be relatable to make a listener believe they have lived every word, and that is a truly beautiful thing.
Hozier has set the bar extremely high for himself, as well as other artists to follow. It is bound to be a few years before we hear more from the alternative world’s newest prodigy, but he is guaranteed to keep fans on the edge of their seats waiting for more.

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