Hozier is not an ordinary rock star. He’s literate, adventurous and earnest and he continues to amaze with his third album “Unreal Unearth.” From it’s cinematic scope of musical styles, it’s allusions to Irish and Greek mythology and his intricate lyrical structure, it’s ambitious artistic statement.

Despite the songs literary references it’s not necessary to be an English major to understand his message. He uses fables to relate to things we all have in common.

Soft piano ballads lead to chamber pop exercises before going into full blown synth rock all with arrangements that never repeat but add to the mistique. Hozier explains a collaboration with Brandi Carlile this way “It is reflecting on the negative space between being young and silly and being reckless and the actual harm that is done in the long term of life on the planet or in society.”

With “Unreal Unearth” Hozier channels a feeling of hopefulness and rebirth and, like many albums born during the pandemic, ultimately gives us a feeling of emerging from darkness into the light.