Hozier, album “Hozier”
I am a huge fan of music and I have been exposed to many genres and artists over the years. But one of my favorite artists is Hozier and his new album is nothing short of immaculate. This most resent album, “Hozier” is moreover a concept album. Hozier essentially interludes all the songs with meaningful analogies and metaphors. In this he talks about his old relationship and how it has shaped and matured him. Throughout listening to this album I was interested in the unique way that he described the essence of a relationship. Not a certain emotion or a state of mind but the general feel of the lows and highs of a relationship.
I like his music, but that is not why I am writing about him and this album. I think that the way it is constructed is nothing short of genius. Unlike other artists he takes you through a progression of his state of mind, but in a very unique way. He merely cues to emotions rather then tells you what he is feeling. In the song “Jackie and Wilson” he represents the emptiness in his personality after his breakup by saying “every version of me dead and buried in the yard outside”. Then in the song “Like Real People do” he says “why were you digging? What did you bury, before those hands pulled me from the earth”. This is making a connection to the other song when he feels as though his personality has been buried underground by his ex. I think he is referring to his ex burying him and his new lover saving him and “pulling him from the earth”. I think that these connections are part of what makes this album so genius. He does this all over the album. One thing that I have noticed is that the order of the songs do have significance in the album. The order in which the songs are placed in the album really walks you through the progression of his emotional journey. The popular and controversial song “Take Me to Church” is the first song in this album and really starts off the album on a strong note. Hozier says “My lovers got humor… Knows everybody’s disapproval, I should’ve worshipped her sooner If the Heavens ever did speak, she is the last true mouthpiece” there are a million opinions about what or who he is talking about but the way I see it he is referring to the goddess of love. This would be a good opening song that basically lets you know his opinion on love as a whole. He thinks that love is the only thing that is true and cleansing and that people no matter their sexual orientation should be able to have the same love. So after he defines his opinion on love he goes right into the next song about the girl he fell in love with. “Angel of small death and the codeine scene” so this song is very convoluted but my opinion about it is that he is talking about this girl who he is obsessed with and that from the very start he knows she is bad for him. “Feeling more human and hooked on her flesh I, lay my heart down with the rest at her feet…Wonder if better now having survived Jarring of judgment and reasons defeat”. With this line he expresses to the listener how helpless he is to this girl and how that let to his downfall. He is addicted to her even though he knows how unpredictable she is. This is also a reference to the title a the chorus he is comparing her to an angel of sexual desire and her being as addictive as heroin. The next song following this really demonstrates his true obsession with this girl. “Jackie and Wilson” is a fantastic song and when it is analyzed has a much deeper meaning. Hozier say “she blows out of nowhere, roman candle of the wind” this furthers the listeners understanding of her unstable character. She comes and goes as she pleases and it tears the author to pieces but he couldn’t ever imagine leaving. He knows she is bad for him but he is so madly in love with her even stating “sit back and watch the world go by, Happy to lie back, watch it burn and rust” the world being his own and him neglecting it as he put what little he has into this unstable infatuation of his. In a perfect world he imagines them having kids and raising them the way that he was raised, I gathered this from the lines “We’ll name our children Jackie and Wilson, ‘raise em on rhythm and blues”. This is the premise of the song and he goes on to explain the tragic reality that this dream of his may never come to fruition. The next song is very strangely worded, almost as if it is dialog between him and his unstable lover “Someone New”. In this song Hozier opens the song up with one of my favorite stanzas. “Go take this the wrong way, you knew who I was with every step that I ran to you, only blue or black days, electing strange perfection in any stranger I choose”. There is a lot of interpreting to do here but the way I understand it is that his lover is telling him that he is going to take what she says in the worst possible way but lets him hear it anyway. Telling him that he cant be mad at the way she is because he knew all along as he blindly ran into her life. She doesn’t want him to have those “blue or black days” just because she is interested in other stranger that come her way. Hozier then responds “would it be easier if there was a right way” and she answers “honey there is no right way”. And so their lack of commitment causes them to both look for love in other places, whether or not it is known by the other. I know that because the chorus says “And so I fall in love just a little ol’ little bit, Every day with someone new” then saying that this is the “art to life’s distractions”. Hozier carries this trend throughout the album.