Wasteland, Baby!, the second full-length from Irish folk-rocker Hozier, is rich and large in sound but shows little progression in the songwriter’s abilities.
The album gets off to an explosive start with the standout single, “Nina Cried Power,” which features soul legend Mavis Staples. Hozier maintains a solid momentum through the first half of the record, presenting catchy hooks and riffs paired with his smooth vocal melodies. The pacing of the album feels a bit front-heavy, however, leaving the more subdued tracks for last.
While most songs on the album are memorable, soulful and powerful, Hozier’s sound doesn’t seem to have developed much since his 2014 self-titled debut, exposing a somewhat predictable formula. While some more experimentation would be welcomed, the results are still pretty beautiful.