It’s rare and album and singer like Hozier come along and surprises the critic and the masses with such pure honesty. The lead single Take me to Church, off of his self-titled album is perfect intro that lets you know what you’re in store for the remainder of the album.
“Take me to church, I’ll worship like a dog at the shrine of your lies, I’ll tell you my sins and you can sharpen your knife, offer me that deathless death, Good god, let me give you my life”
What Hozier has managed to do is capture that feeling of completely giving into and surrendering to the love and lust that comes with a woman. The way a guy want’s to surrender because a girls loving is so fucking good, you just don’t care anymore. The song and album hint at death and blasphemy of being with a woman. This depth of being into someone hasn’t been captured at this level since Leonard Cohen sang Hallelujah.
I purposely didn’t look up Hozier’s personal history or biography because the album appears fresher and allows you to come up with your own history that fits. It’s the way he sings about love, lust, death and forgiveness as if they were hymns. As if he was the son of a pastor who grew up loving Jesus and singing in the choir and not knowing anything of the real world. But then he slept with his first girl and like biting the apple in Eden he realizing the power of good sex and love is Heaven on earth. There’s a confusion to it all, he doesn’t know if in the end it’s all bad or good but he does know he enjoys experiencing it all. On the song Eden he sings,
“Babe, there’s something tragic about you, something so magic about you, don’t you agree…… I slithered here from Eden Just to sit outside your door”
The highlight of the album is Work Song. A chain gang like anthem sang with such traditional southern twang you could swear it came from a Johnny Cash lost album. A song about working through the hard head with thoughts of a good woman on your mind. The redemptive powers that can be found if you find a good girl. If you find that girl that doesn’t judge you on your pass but accepts you as you are and helps you be a slightly better person going forward.
I can already hear cynics of the mansophere yelling how beta the album is and how it puts pussy on a pedestal and of course anyone is free to see it like that’s the thing about music it hits you a certain way depending on what point you are in your life and maturity. To me Hozier has done something difficult, captured that feeling of perfect satisfaction. How it feels when you really like the person you’re seeing and have nothing to complain about. That moment before it the hard times, before it all turns to shit, when you look forward to seeing your lover and enjoying the moments with her. When you stay so long in bed with them that you don’t need food, water, or Jesus.
As winter approaches and bun season creeps in on most of us I predict that this the album you’ll be playing as the snow falls outside and fire is on in house somewhere. Yeah the freaky The Weeknd music is for the side piece and girls you want to fuck and kick the fuck out. Hozier is what you’ll be playing for the one you really want to be with and see.