Hozier (album)

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Hozier
Hozier album.jpg
Studio album by Hozier
Released 19 September 2014 (2014-09-19)
Genre
Length 53:26
Label
Producer Rob Kirwan
Hozier chronology
From Eden
(2014)From Eden2014
Hozier
(2014)
Singles from Hozier
  1. "Take Me to Church"
    Released: 13 September 2013
  2. "From Eden"
    Released: 9 March 2014
  3. "Sedated"
    Released: 20 May 2014
  4. "Someone New"
    Released: 2 March 2015
  5. "Work Song"
    Released: 23 March 2015
  6. "Jackie and Wilson"
    Released: 29 September 2015
  7. "Cherry Wine"
    Released: 14 February 2016

Hozier is the eponymous debut studio album from Irish musician of the same name. The album was released on 19 September 2014 through Island Records and Rubyworks Records. The album contains his first hit, Take Me to Church and From Eden.

Well received by music critics, Hozier was also commercially successful, reaching top ten positions in Ireland, UK, the United States, Canada, Australia, Denmark and Greece. The album's lead single "Take Me to Church" was a huge success worldwide, and also earned a nomination for Song of the Year at the 57th Annual Grammy Awards in 2015.

Recording[edit]

At a live performance in Boston, Hozier explained that "Cherry Wine", was recorded late at night in an old, abandoned hotel with a caved-in roof and walls covered in graffiti. "It was like 5 in the morning and I was so tired... and it ended up on the first EP!"[5]

Lyrical content[edit]

The lyrics "Two corpses we were, two corpses I saw / They'd find us in a week" of "In a Week" revolve around an upland area known as the Wicklow Mountains or Wicklow Hills near Hozier's hometown of Bray. "Anytime you hear 'Wicklow Hills', it's usually before or after the words 'a body was found'," said Hozier.[5]

Singles[edit]

  • "Take Me to Church" was announced by Hozier as the lead single from the album, it was released on 13 September 2013. The song peaked at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming Hozier's highest-charting single in the U.S. to date.
  • "From Eden" was released as the second single from the album on 9 March 2014. The song peaked at #2 on the Irish Singles Chart.
  • "Sedated" was released as the third single from the album on 20 May 2014. The song peaked at #3 on the Irish Singles Chart.
  • "Work Song" was released as the fourth single from the album on 16 March 2015.[6]
  • "Someone New" was released as the fifth single from the album on 11 May 2015.[7] The song peaked at #13 on the Irish Singles Chart.
  • "Jackie and Wilson" was released as the sixth single from the album on 29 September 2015.
  • "Cherry Wine" was released as the seventh single from the album on 14 February 2016.

Release[edit]

The album was available to pre-order in Europe upon its announcement with North American and Australian pre-order dates from July 2014.[8] The album was released 19 September 2014.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Metacritic79/100[9]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic3.5/5 stars[1]
The Arts Desk3/5 stars[10]
The A.V. ClubB[11]
Clash8/10[2]
Entertainment WeeklyA-[12]
Exclaim!9/10[13]
The Irish Times5/5 stars[14]
Rolling Stone3.5/5 stars[3]
State4/5 stars[15]
The Telegraph5/5 stars[4]

Hozier received generally positive reviews from music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalised rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 79, based on 10 reviews.[9]

AllMusic's Timothy Monger called the album "a strong debut," praising the singer's soulful voice and the quality of the material. "Like fellow Irishman Van Morrison did decades before, Hozier draws on the soul and R&B of Jackie Wilson and runs it through the mystery white-boy filter of Jeff Buckley, adding a touch of Bon Iver's rural indie aesthetic to mix into his own dark cocktail," he wrote.[1]

Sergiusz Królak of JazzSoul.pl claimed, "Hozier (...) revealed album with emotionally strong songs," adding that "acoustic-rock-ballad tracklist makes a great whole with deep-emotional vocal and strong lyrics".[16]

Simon Harper of Clash magazine commented that "His voice, more poitín-sweetened than whiskey-soaked, caresses delicate melodies and rougher rhythms alike with confidence – it lingers compellingly in the creeping blues of 'To Be Alone', whispers prettily in the folky 'Like Real People Do', and preaches fervently in the ragged R&B of 'Jackie And Wilson'. The Irishman's storytelling is suitably fluid, relying on the realism of true romance rather than affecting any impoverished Delta designs. As a result, 'Hozier' is an authentic portrait of an artist – soulful, spiritual and seductive – and is a deeply impressive first step."[2]

Rolling Stone magazine's Jon Dolan wrote, "Blessed with a sensual singing voice and a seemingly bottomless well of lapsed-Catholic-style conflict, Hozier channels Van Morrison's Celtic R&B, Southern soul and Black Keys-style garage blues into intimately roiling songs like 'Angel of Small Death and the Codeine Scene.'"[3]

Helen Brown of The Telegraph noted, "Gospel choirs hum and swell tenderly beneath the rougher edges of his riffs. They add mature, universal gravitas and often a holy ecstacy to an intense, youthful lyrical tangling of religion and romantic obsession that regularly finds him poised 'between love and abuse'," adding that "Hozier mixes his tormented blues with sunny R&B."[4]

In 2016, Hozier's song, "Arsonist's Lullaby", was featured in the film trailer for the Ben Affleck directed film, Live by Night.[17][18]

Accolades[edit]

For the 57th Grammy Awards, "Take Me to Church", written by Hozier himself, received a nomination on the category Song of the Year. Jessica Goodman and Ryan Kistobak of The Huffington Post included the album on their list of 2014's best releases.[19]

Commercial performance[edit]

As of January 2016, the album has sold a total of 808,000 copies in the United States.[20] It has sold 90,000 copies in Hozier's home country of Ireland.[21]

The album debuted at number two on the Canadian Albums Chart, selling 8,800 copies in its first week.[22]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Andrew Hozier-Byrne, except "Someone New" written by Hozier-Byrne and Sallay Matu Garnett.

No.TitleLength
1."Take Me to Church"4:02
2."Angel of Small Death and the Codeine Scene"3:39
3."Jackie and Wilson"3:43
4."Someone New"3:42
5."To Be Alone"5:23
6."From Eden"4:43
7."In a Week" (featuring Karen Cowley)5:18
8."Sedated"3:27
9."Work Song"3:49
10."Like Real People Do"3:18
11."It Will Come Back"4:37
12."Foreigner's God"3:45
13."Cherry Wine" (Live)4:00
Total length:53:26

Personnel[edit]

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Australia (ARIA)[65] Platinum 70,000^
Austria (IFPI Austria)[66] Platinum 15,000*
Canada (Music Canada)[67] Platinum 80,000^
Denmark (IFPI Denmark)[68] Gold 0^
Germany (BVMI)[69] Gold 100,000^
Ireland 90,000[21]
New Zealand (RMNZ)[70] Gold 7,500^
Poland (ZPAV)[71] 2× Platinum 40,000*
Sweden (GLF)[72] Gold 20,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[73] Platinum 458,000^
United States (RIAA)[74] 2× Platinum 2,000,000^
Summaries
Worldwide (IFPI) 3,500,000

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

Release history[edit]

Region Date Label Format
Ireland[75] 19 September 2014
United Kingdom[8] 6 October 2014
United States[76] 14 October 2014

References[edit]

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  2. ^ a b c Harper, Simon (6 October 2014). "Hozier - Hozier". Clash. Retrieved 1 November 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c Dolan, Jon (21 October 2014). "Hozier's New Album: Hozier". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 1 November 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c Brown, Helen (6 October 2014). "Hozier, Hozier, review: 'glorious and uplifting'". The Telegraph. Retrieved 1 November 2014. 
  5. ^ a b Bedian, Knar. "Bluesing in the Red Room". Sound of Boston. 
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