"Wasteland, Baby!" is the second studio album by Irish musician Hozier, released on 1 March 2019 by Rubyworks Records. It is Hozier's first album since 2014. The album includes the songs "Nina Cried Power" and "Shrike" from the 2018 EP Nina Cried Power, as well as the single "Movement".
The maturity of the songs on his debut album suggested he had a musical vision that was intuitive, passionate and personal. To his credit, he hasn’t allowed himself be sidetracked, derailed or driven demented by fame and celebrity. The resolve and courage required to overcome those potential pitfalls shine through this new 14-track collection.
It’s clear that, like a lot of other artists from Led Zeppelin to the Black Keys, Hozier’s musical tastes range through soul music, vintage R’n’B, jazz, gospel and singer-songwriter folk. 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.
It’s apt, then, that the strongest performance on the album is the thunderous gospel invocation Nina Cried Power, which pays homage to great musicians who’ve challenged prejudice.
These songs have a social message that doesn’t ignore the personal, and the resulting album is a dramatic confirmation of a confident talent.
Reviewed by Eamon Carr for www.independent.ie. User Comments