<blockquote>1. "Take Me To Church" - 0:00
2. "Angel of Small Death and The Codeine Scene" - 4:01
3. "Jackie and Wilson" - 7:41
4. "Someone New" - 11:23
5. "To Be Alone" - 15:06
6. "From Eden" - 20:30
7. "In A Week" (ft Karen Cowley) - 25:13
8. "Sedated" - 30:32
9. "Work Song" - 33:59
10. "Like Real People Do" - 37:49
11. "It Will Come Back" - 41:07
12. "Foreigner's God" - 45:45
13. "Cherry Wine" (Live) - 49:30
14. "In the Woods Somewhere" (Bonus Track) - 53:30
15. "Run" (Bonus Track) - 59:02</blockquote>
Over the past two years, Hozier has released a few EPs and a slew of singles, but the album you've been waiting for is finally here. The Irish singer-songwriter's highly anticipated self-titled debut album has received a lot of buzz, largely due to his heart-wrenching music video for "Take Me To Church." You can now listen to the entire album on Spotify.
The record opens strongly with the wildly popular single "Take Me To Church." The sinister tune is driven by Hozier's impressive vocals, bringing to mind singer-songwriter and frontman of Pearl Jam, Eddie Vedder. The singer has a gravelly tone that makes everything from his gentle croon to belted notes extremely compelling. Hozier then shows off his way with words in "Angels of Small Death and The Codeine Scene," the second track on the record. He commented in an interview that the song is inspired by James Joyce's A Portrait of the Artist As A Young Man. You can hear similarities in the writing styles, with his lyrics possessing some of Joyce's stream of consciousness qualities.
The vibe of the record takes a turn in the third track where Hozier reveals his upbeat and lighthearted side with the catchy tune "Jackie and Wilson." The song is a nod to soul singer Jackie Wilson, which is fitting for the grooving feel of the track. The record holds on to its more upbeat feel in "Someone New," a song that falls upon your ears like honey - smooth and sweet. This may be surprising since it is a song about a man who can't stay with one woman, but somehow the young singer-songwriter pulls it off. He sings in the second verse, “Some like to imagine the dark caress of someone else, I guess any thrill will do.” Hozier writes beautifully about sensuality and passion in "To Be Alone," a song narrating the tolls of unrequited love. Each word is filled with raw energy and is carried out beautifully by his gravelly voice.
Each song on this record, whether it is something lighter such as love song "Cherry Wine" or one of his haunting tracks such as "Sedated," all hit you with their authenticity and Hozier's raw talent. In "From Eden," he references the Good Book when he croons, "I slithered here from Eden just to sit outside your door," in the chorus. The song surprises you in the instrumental break with flamenco-influenced rhythmic guitar and hand claps. "In A Week" follows, a duet featuring Karen Cowley, frontwoman of Irish band Wyvern Lingo.
The young artist continues to experiment with his sound in "Work Song." The track opens with a plethora of soulful hums, but adds bass in the hook that brings the tune to another level. Despite the use of bass and synth, the track doesn't lose grasp of its organic feel. Play this song on some high quality speakers or headphones, it will consume you completely with its full and powerful sound.
Hozier's debut record is a knockout through and through. Each track is compelling in its own right, whether it has you grooving to the beat or falling victim to his haunting melodies. The music, the lyrics, the voice - he's got it all. Hozier is going to have a hell of a time surpassing his first album, but if this record is any indication, he should be up the challenge.
For Hozier’s latest music, news, and tour dates, check out his Zumic artist page.