“Ok, I Like Hozier… Now Get outta My Face”

Now, this post is not about The Lumineers, although, really, it might as well be. Like Ireland’s Hozier, American band The Lumineers is making a pretty decent name for themselves these days by, basically, singing about women. They sing about women A LOT. Asking them sing about anything else would be like asking a gecko to do a backflip, actually. The Lumineers’ music is I guess tolerable but it’s basically like fast food jingles, like David Bowie. It’s cutesy music designed for individuals with no regard for the amount of suffering taking place in the world.

I would almost deign to slot Hozier within that same malady and really, the guy’s not too far off. His lyrical themes, that is, are hopelessly reductive. Take “Work Song.” In the lyrics for this one, he even goes so far as to claim that when he dies, he’ll crawl out of his grave and go back to his woman, yes, detouring things like, ya know, his children and other loved ones. Hey, you can go your own way.

“Work Song,” anyway, I’ve decided, is actually filled with enough genuine feeling and heart to at least classify it as musically commendable, no matter how nauseated you are by this hackneyed lyrical theme of woman-worshipping. Of course, no subsequent project in this vein could ever be half as repugnant as “Take Me to Church,” in which our favorite Irish loverboy even seems to imply that he’ll let the woman castrate him if she finds any “sins” in his psyche, or whatever, hence apparently also ascribing to her this extrasensory intuitive power in spotting sins in people. What’s really annoying is the extent to which Hozier seems to claim to prize the relationship/companionship aspect of association with women, which I guess is commendable if it’s true but hardly seems believable in his case, or in any other. I mean, this music could be transposed onto a song about a secluded Keltic grotto (which indeed is kind of what it reminds me of) and not lose any zeal or significance. All this mandatory virtue, anyway, makes Dave Matthews seem edgy, by comparison, with his relatively unruly command of “Hike up your skirt a little more / And show your world to me / In a boy’s dream”. 

And it’s true that Hozier does have one song that doesn’t seem to just worship women as if they’re the unilateral saviors of humanity and that does indeed hold some water, artistically. This song would be “Someone New,” which, even though it still seems stuck in the all-encompassing four-bar-phrase Cask of Amontillado along with every other song that comes out these days, does at least show something like humility, and not the bombastic, self-aggrandizing humility displayed in “Take Me to Church.” So David Gray had a kid and I guess we’re all happy — or we’re sure going to walk that straight-arrow, four-cornered line of happiness, on the off chance that we’re not. 


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