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Hozier | Nina Cried Power | Album Review

Columbia
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

The public has been waiting for new Hozier music for a while. The Irish alternative star, best known for his single “Take Me to Church,” released his new EP, Nina Cried Power, on Sept. 6. It’s a four-song EP, but those four songs pack a punch. The range Hozier has shown on just these four songs is incredible. From political power ballad “Nina Cried Power” to the haunting and harmonic “NFWMB,” Hozier is proving yet again how diverse the alternative genre really is. 

The crown jewel of the EP is the titular song “Nina Cried Power.” It features hall of fame inducted gospel singer Mavis Staples. Two voices who no one ever thought of putting together. It works incredibly well. The song itself is a tribute to the voices of the civil rights movement, name dropping Nina Simone, Billie Holiday, Curtis Mayfield, and Patti Smith, among several others. 

The song is powerful and will potentially serve as an anthem to the Irish people who are currently fighting for their own religious-based civil rights movement. In the music video for the song, several Irish activists are featured.

On the topic of Irish culture, the last song on the album, “Shrike,” is by far the most interesting to listen to. It’s instrumentally reminiscent of traditional Irish folk songs with violins, heavy drum beats, and a twingey-sounding guitar melody. Most importantly, Hozier does not hold back at all in his accent. There is a pride in the way he articulates each word and the way each sentence is grammatically formulated. 

As a whole, the album is a love letter not only to the voices of the civil rights movement, not only to Ireland, but to oppressed people all over the world. Hozier’s voice and lyrics are a reminder of how far the world has come and an invitation to keep pressing onward. 

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