Hozier
Hozier


4.0
excellent

Review

by LepreCon USER (14 Reviews)
February 9th, 2015 | 67 replies


Release Date: 09/22/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A strong debut that marries soul, blues and R&B to create something that is both delightfully fresh and comfortably familiar.

Whenever fresh new talent first hits the scene and begins to make waves, it is all too easy for one of two things to happen:

a) hyperbolic acclaim is heaped upon them, usually after a hit single gains significant airtime, so much so that after about a year, they face immense scrutiny based on the hype of their initial success and are almost certain to fail to live up to it or

b) the first hit single proves to be nothing more than a flash-in-the-pan and mass popularity quickly fades in favour of the next up-and-comer.

Now, it is no major secret that the popular music industry seems to rely upon an almost continuous turnover of new acts to ensure the public keeps coughing up the dough rather than become bored of a single artist/ band. Several faces initially lauded as the 'next big thing' have faded into obscurity not too long after the release of their debut album and I'm not just talking about the winners of certain glorified karaoke shows that shoves the year's best sob story to attain the Christmas #1 before starting all over again come August.

However, it is safe to say that Andrew Hozier-Byrne does not belong in that particular category. Starting with his debut EP in late 2013, the Bray, Co. Wicklow native has since steadily built himself into a national sensation, thanks in no small part to the phenomenal anti-discrimination anthem 'Take Me to Church'. From playing to half a marquee at the back of the Oxegen festival to performing in the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show alongside the likes of Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift, not to mention supporting the Foo Fighters at the renowned Slane Castle concert later this year, it is safe to say that Hozier is making serious waves indeed. But what of the music that has gotten him this far"

Released worldwide in October 2014, Hozier expands upon the early critical acclaim and commercial success of his EPs and presents us with a veritable smorgasbord of legendary influences that serves more often than not as a heartfelt tribute rather than a collection of pale imitations. Opening with the aforementioned, Grammy- nominated megahit, Hozier's talents for singing and songwriting are showcased with soulful crooning in condemnation of discriminatory organised religion above a bluesy accompaniment of guitar, drums and distorted cello. Huge and important as the song is, there is plenty of meat to follow it up and Hozier indeed proves to be far more than a one-trick pony. His pallet of Muddy Waters, Blind Willie Johnson, Jackie Wilson and Motown sees the elements of simplistic but rough guitar riffs, gospel-like choral backing and bouncing rhythms crafted into venerable masterpieces like the uplifting Someone New with its sunny R&B stylings, contrasted with the mature gravitas of the lackadaisical It Will Come Back. Hozier also delves into an intriguing exploration of grim yet passionate romance, a theme that runs through the delightful yet macabre In a Week and further expanded upon in the buckling Like Real People Do.

However, particularly in the second half of the record, a few tracks struggle to reach the bar set by the more meatier cuts; second single From Eden is a looser dalliance that doesn't quite show off the better qualities of the album and the spiritually gothic Work Song tends to meander uncertainly rather than drive with self-assurance. Furthermore, the bonus tracks in the deluxe edition do little to add to the record that has not already been established. Far from perfect, but by all other means a strong debut, Hozier could very well be the first great leap in a long and fruitful career for the 24-year old. Time will tell whether Hozier can make good on his early acclaim and intuitive marriage of blues, soul and R&B akin to the masterful early works of fellow Irishman Van Morrison and escape the potential trappings of premature worship.



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user ratings (172)
Chart.
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
LepreCon
February 8th 2015


5451 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Commenting in a LepreCon review. On a personal note, I happen to be acquainted with the man- we've boozed

together, jammed together and banged some of the same chicks (not together though).

lz41
February 8th 2015


184 Comments


So make a bold punt - what will happen to Hozier? How will he fare?

ScuroFantasma
Staff Reviewer
February 8th 2015


11620 Comments


"Commenting in a LepreCon review. On a personal note, I happen to be acquainted with the man- we've boozed together, jammed together and banged some of the same chicks (not together though)."

Lol


JWT155
February 8th 2015


14182 Comments


How so? I think he'll be a solid artist but I think he's reached his mainstream potential.

Royl123
February 8th 2015


2039 Comments


AMEN AMEN!

hogan900
February 8th 2015


2880 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This guy likes James Joyce, so he's quite a good guy.

ScuroFantasma
Staff Reviewer
February 8th 2015


11620 Comments


Good review by the way, it was an interesting read for sure

LepreCon
February 8th 2015


5451 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks! =D



I think he'll be a solid artist but I think he's reached his mainstream potential




I see what you mean but I hope not, he has just finished singing with Annie Lennox at the Grammys and he's up for an award so his star could rise further yet.

JWT155
February 8th 2015


14182 Comments


I just saw his performance too with Annie Lennox and it was pretty spot on, but was this performance more about him as an artist and his future potential or to push sales on his current record/singles? Sadly I think it's the latter. I just think in today's day and age only a few artists can hold the spotlight for more then just a few years and that group is held for only 10 or so artists, mostly pop artists. Look at the indie rock scene. Bands like Foster the People, Bon Iver, ect all strike gold at some point, and they'll have a solid following later, but the peek of their mainstream success has been seen.

LepreCon
February 8th 2015


5451 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I get your point and the performance is definitely because he is on the hype train right now. Perhaps I'm just biased cuz I know the guy and I want him to do well so I can ride his coattails and get into all the high-rolling parties to get down with all dem big booty bitchez he's certainly pulling.

Green Baron
February 8th 2015


24341 Comments


Hope he wins that Grammy, everything else on that list is horrendous

Cygnatti
February 8th 2015


32650 Comments


Can't stand this shit.

Digging: Svitlana Nianio - Kytytsi

Green Baron
February 8th 2015


24341 Comments


Take Me to Church is a good song Cyg don't lie

LepreCon
February 8th 2015


5451 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I find it kinda hard to believe this hadn't been reviewed til now either

Green Baron
February 8th 2015


24341 Comments


It's not exactly up Sput's alley

Cygnatti
February 8th 2015


32650 Comments


Take me to church is fuckin awful.

LepreCon
February 8th 2015


5451 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

True but popular artists do get reviewed so I'd have thought he'd have had more attention, especially since I'm not the only Irish user on the site either!

JWT155
February 8th 2015


14182 Comments


There's been a lot of albums that are popular on Alt Nation and such that still dont have a review. Milky Chance is one that comes to mind.

LepreCon
February 8th 2015


5451 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

idk I took a 4-year break from Sputnik til recently so I guess things are a lot different now

JWT155
February 8th 2015


14182 Comments


Same. Just started being more active for the first time in 3 years or so.



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