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Hozier's second ride-filled album is finally out, but what are critics making of it?

Time to head back to church.

HOZIER HAS FINALLY emerged from his woodland hideaway to give us his second album, ‘Wasteland, Baby!’

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Yes, his first record since 2016′s self-titled effort is making waves across social media today. Say what you want, you can’t say Hozier fans aren’t enthusiastic.

Is it any use though? Here’s what the people in the know have been saying so far.

GoldenPlec’s Anna Buckley reckons “the eggplant emoji” would have been a more apt title for the record.

There is no question as to what the subject matter of ‘Wasteland, Baby!’ is [...] Wordy euphemisms and double entendres are wrapped up in gospel harmonies and bluesy guitar riffs, all the while without compromising his songwriting and composing abilities.”

Steady on, Andrew!

Writing for Independent.ie, Eamon Carr says the album, heavily influenced by the gosepl greats and R&B stylings, is a “dramatic confirmation” of his talent.

Hozier adds an uncompromising complexity and sophistication to the mix in a manner that recalls the fearless and fierce sense of adventure and righteousness found in the music of Nina Simone.”

Eh, the Financial Times weren’t as kind, calling ‘Wasteland, Baby!’ “unfortunately self-descriptive”.

Topping off their 2 star review, Ludovic Hunter-Tilney writes: “‘Wasteland, Baby!’ is a tardy follow-up, arriving as though weighed down by unhelpful commercial expectations.” Yikes. 

Hot Press’ review is slightly more forgiving – Jackie Hayden reckons Hozier has another hit on his hand.

With this sophomore effort, Hozier has not so much reinvented himself as confirmed his place in the pop premier league. His voice and band sound as big as ever, but the intensity has been leavened with some lighter touches, born of a mature confidence.”

Rolling Stone gave ‘Wasteland, Baby!’ three stars out of five. Jonathan Bernstein says some of the album still lives in the shadow of Take Me To Church, but he still sees to have matured as an artist.

At its best, the album carves out a space for the singer to work out his creative tensions as he finds new ways to make his straight folk influences more accessible without losing anything along the way.”

 

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