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1 TRENDING TOPIC: COLUMBIA X 3
Da do Ron Ron (4/14a)
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RHYTHM, BLUES AND THE FUTURE
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Predicting the next big catalog deal.
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Critics' Choice
LISTEN BEFORE CASTING YOUR BALLOT: HOZIER
10/21/15

Hozier, Hozier (Columbia): The Irish troubadour got a big look on Grammy night 2015, performing his SOTY-nominated monster “Take Me to Church” with Annie Lennox and showing off his considerable guitar chops. He is the rare artist who makes young girls scream and critics swoon. But beyond “Church,” it seems comparatively few people are acquainted with the rest of his assured debut set. With a remarkable command of rock, blues, folk and soul, a vivid literary sensibility as a lyricist, an authoritative voice and an earthy, unconventional approach to arrangement and production, Andrew Hozier-Byrne (ably assisted by his mini-orchestra of a band) created one of the deepest, most rewarding sets in recent memory. There are too many highlights to fully enumerate, but here are several: edgy rocker “Angel of Small Death and the Codeine Scene,” scruffy R&B anthem “Jackie and Wilson,” playful pop ditty “Someone New,” the haunted blues “It Will Come Back,” the Satanic verses of “From Eden,” the questing, anguished “Sedated,” the tranquil, timeless “In a Week” and the bone-deep field holler “Work Song.” Taken individually, these songs are knockouts; taken together they produce a mesmerizing album experience. Hozier is a major arrival, and his extraordinary first album should be recognized as such.