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Listen Up: Wasteland, Baby!

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Listen Up: Wasteland, Baby!

Stephanie Klein ’21, Guest Columnist

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Music is arguably the biggest part of my life, as it is for most students. Aside from my weekly radio show (Treble Steph, Mondays from 5 p.m.-6 p.m. on WDCV), I find that searching for new music can be especially challenging. 

Growing up, all I would listen to was screamo-emo/alternative music–which I still do. Now, however, I can proudly say that my library consists of everything from classical music to indie pop to EDM. However, all through my musical taste changes, there has been one artist that has really resonated with me and has recently blessed the human race with a brand new album earlier this month. 

Released on March 1, Hozier reemerged from the forest that he lives in (probably) to give us all Wasteland, Baby!. Earlier last year he dropped the much-loved EP Nina Cried Power, which gave us amazing tracks such as “Nina Cried Power,” “Shrike” and my personal favorite, “NFWMB”. Both “Nina Cried Power” and “Shrike” are on the track list for Wasteland, Baby! and I couldn’t be happier. 

Wasteland Baby! opens up with none other than “Nina Cried Power,” a song dedicated to the legends of Rock and roll including John Lennon, James Brown, Joni Mitchell and many more. It is definitely my favorite song on the album due to its versatility. I listen to it in the gym, during study hours and when I’m walking around campus or driving around with my friends. Hozier then blesses us with the song “Almost (Sweet Music),” which contains my favorite line of the entire album–“the same kind of music haunts her bedroom. I’m almost me and she’s almost you.” 

Hozier uses his fifth track to sing about where he’s been, who he’s been with and how he always comes back to the same person. “Nobody” is truly a blessing for the album, especially with the line, “I’d be appalled if I saw you ever try to be a saint. I wouldn’t fall for someone I thought couldn’t misbehave”–a line I feel is almost so out of the ordinary for Hozier that it is welcomed and fits like a missing puzzle piece in this particular song. 

“Dinner and Diatribes” is the eleventh  track on the album, containing parallels to “Nobody” with the same theme of dirty love. He sings in the first verse, “I’d suffer Hell if you’d tell me what you’d do to me tonight,” which, honestly, same. While every track on the album contains some type of connotation to love, I’d say these two songs are the most outspoken about it. 

We close out the album with the title track, “Wasteland, Baby!.” This song wraps up the album nicely with the soft strumming of his guitar and his final declarations of love towards this mystery girl, who I very much wish was me. 

While this song is also about love, it sways towards the innocent puppy-love, instead of the gritty sex love Hozier sang about previously. He repeats “I love you” or some form of that about ten times and sings at length about how he wants to watch the world end with his love. 

From me to all of you Dickinsonian readers, please give this album a listen and I promise you will not regret it. 

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Listen Up: Wasteland, Baby!