Hozier has always produced a good variety of differing songs. Recently, he created a short album, sporting some political messages as well as creativity.

“Nina Cried Power,” named after the US civil rights activist Nina Simone, falls into both categories.

The music video for “Nina Cried Power,” has a lot of emotion built into a simple concept. Different people listen to the song while clips from the Irish Activist groups play in front of them, capturing genuine emotions in the moment.

Most of the onlookers seem to enjoy it, a few even going so far as to cry. The Irish Activists put their lives on the line for Civil Rights, a relevant cause and a group scarcely known.

“Moment’s Silence (Common Tongue)” is primarily guitar, but includes creative beats carried by snapping and other unusual percussions. It owns a different sound and is very refreshing to hear in the era of copy and paste pop hits.

Hozier sings about a hypothetical lover and how he knows the truth (“yeah, she cheated”) when she kisses him.

Sure, the theme has been done to death, but the lyrics are actually very well thought out. The plays on phrases and poetic freedom exhibited likely mean you’ll be listening multiple times just to take it all in.

The last song on the album, “Shrike,” is much slower-paced. Hozier shows off some of his falsetto, which is, through natural talent or extensive studio editing, incredibly pleasing. The lyrics, once again, are very nuanced and well thought out.

He deserves praise for doing something different. Besides the guitar, there’s a number of other instrumentations adding a level of depth sorely missed in the genre.

Hopefully, this raises the bar for other artists. A beat track and repetitive lyrics isn’t going to cut it when you’re trying to follow this one up.

The only unfortunate thing to bring up, is that the music’s over too soon. But, overall, quality is going to win out over quantity on this one.

5 out 5 stars.


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