The Irish songwriter, Andrew Hozier-Byrne devotes much if not all
his second album, “Wasteland, Baby!” Throughout the first song, “Nina Cried
Power,” he gives a shout out to not only artists, but all-time greats like Nina
Simone, Billie Holiday, John Lennon, James Brown, Joni Mitchell, Mavis Staples,
Patti Smith, Marvin Gaye, etc. He does
this to prove that you do not have to live in hopelessness. Anyone can make a
He then gets our attention with a catchy toon called “Almost
(Sweet Music),” which is a fan favorite. As he is telling his story during this
song, it almost seems as though it is real life. Any person listening will be
able to picture and relate to everything he is saying.
It is safe to say that Hozier did not disappoint, which is why
he received his first #1 album. His unique, church-like, powerful voice goes
perfectly on his third track on the album “movement.” This song is very sensual
allowing the listening no choice but to listen to his words. Hozier takes us on
a journey with the stories he tells. It is said that he wrote “Wasteland, Baby!”
after reading how threats of nuclear war caused the Bulletin of the Atomic
Scientists to move our doomsday clock ahead 30 seconds.
With the other two members of the Migos group (Quavo and Takeoff) already having released solo albums, fans were excited to see what Offset’s project could offer.
Father of 4 was promised to be more content and less “bubblegum rap”…but did Offset really deliver?
On the title track, Offset delivers on his promise to provide content. He openly raps about his children, something he has admitted to purposefully keeping out of the media. He even reveals to his daughter, Kalia, “I missed the first years of your life, I’m sorry. Tell the truth, I ain’t really know if I was your father”.
Seeing this honest side of the successful rapper was great to see, especially on the intro to his solo project. He delivered with humility and self reflection that is rare to see in a world full of FOMO and “instagram reality”.
The album continues with impressive features such as J. Cole, Travis Scott, 21 Savage and Cardi B. Despite all this, at times throughout the album, you can’t help but wonder if Offset has the skill to carry an album alone. His lack of shift in tonality on tracks like How Did I Get Here (feat. J. Cole) and Tats on my Face, make the songs fall flat.
The beats on both songs are dark and heavy hitting- something that wasn’t expected from the rapper. The production level is on point. J. Cole’s feature on How Did I Get Here seems to breathe life back into the track, but Offset should be meeting him with that same energy.
The theme throughout the album is self reflection. Offset tires to cover a wide range of his life. He starts with being a father as a teenager, to being sent to jail, to his infidelity as a celebrity. This conversational, confessional style of music has something to be said for it. Offset wanted to provide fans with an insight into not only his life, but his own struggles and insecurities.
Although at times, this concept falls flat and the tracks feel more scripted, all are honest acknowledgements from Offset about mistakes he has made and the life he leads. His apology to Cardi B for cheating and trying to keep his family together on the track, Don’t Lose Me, leaves the listener wanting more than a play by play of what happened, and more of a revealing emotional response.
Father of 4 may not be the open revelation that fans were hoping for, but Offset provided on tracks with beats that were different to his usual production style with Migos, and gave fans hope that he could continue to rap more about serious topics and continue to grow as an artist.
Check out some of our top songs for the month of February on our Spotify playlist.
We’re super stoked about performers who’ll be playing REBfest 2019 on March 12th at the UNLV Student Union. Check out some of their music on this Spotify playlist.