Out of the gate “Nina Cried Power” featuring Mavis Staples you’ll be transported into the throngs of the master artist Hozier’s new release “Wasteland, Baby”. Soulful longing is in full force throughout these fourteen tracks. Don’t you love the line “The numbered lovers of Duke Ellington” on “Almost(Sweet Music)” ? Or “Shake like a bough of a willow tree” on “Movement”? These rich full bodied arrangement are rip roaring laments. I can’t enough of his mesmerizing wails on “Nobody”. Who else could get away with the lines “I’ve been sold gold by sweet fools in Abu Dhabi”? The incessant background chorus is a joyous melding of lyrics, music and arrangement on each cut. Things slow down with the plaintive next two songs “As it Was” breaks you down with “There is a roadway, muddy and foxgloved.” The minimalist arrangement is a stunner. “Shrike” continues the descent into pain with “I couldn’t utter my love when it counted.” Things get religious with “Be”- “Like the love that discovered the sin”. Gospel magic. “Sunlight” is filled with a much needed optimism as he sings “With wax melted, I’d meet the sea Under sunlight, sunlight, sunlight.” The final and title track “Wasteland, Baby” is a melodic lament that wraps love around your head.