Hozier : Wasteland, Baby!

The 'Take Me To Church' songwriter keeps up the momentum on his second studio album.

Nowadays, modern artists tend to be compared to veteran musicians by critics. Hozier is no stranger to this, being compared to Van Morrison, Jeff Buckley, and Jackie Wilson. So, with his sophomore release Wasteland, Baby!, do these comparisons remain intact? 

This album remains on the same track as Hozier’s 2014 debut album, revolving around a soul sound and disbursing subtle pop sensibilities when necessary. ‘Movement’ and ‘Be’ demonstrate as much while ‘Nina Cried Power’ sees the Irish musician marry his voice and a grand sound with the great Mavis Staples.

Wasteland, Baby! comes five years after Hozier’s debut and his hit single, ‘Take Me To Church’. It’s hard for someone to break the mould from their first mega-hit, to avoid being labelled a ‘one-hit-wonder’ and there’s a lot to be said for an artist letting the storm calm so that their follow-up album doesn’t go unnoticed. 

Wasteland, Baby! doesn’t deserve to be overshadowed by Hozier’s previous endeavours. The songs drift between warm and cool, like ‘Almost (Sweet Music)’ and ‘No Plan’, and the album deserves at least some acknowledgement.