Brighton based musician, Mike Rosenberg, better known by his stage name, Passenger, seems to have come out of nowhere with his album ‘All The Little Lights’ and its lead single ‘Let Her Go’. In fact, this album was released all the way back in February and Rosenberg has actually released three albums prior to this one and was originally in five-piece band under the same name.
It seems that he has been very busy and working very hard to get where he is today, including touring with Ed Sheeran in 2012. Whatever he has done it has paid off in a big way. His latest album is an ear tingling blend of folk and pop. Songs like ‘Staring At The Stars’ has a strong upbeat folk vibe to it, although the lyrics are actually very depressing; this adds an almost embarrassing honesty of our society by trying to make light of the situation.
On face value the album is very catchy and good to listen to, but it manages to hit the nail on the head on several occasions and the main single ‘Let Her Go’ will be sure to strike a chord with quite a few of its listeners. Passenger has a way of singing a song, and making his audience listen to every word he is saying as if he is sharing words of wisdom.
The strongest track on the album is ‘Life’s for the Living’. The lyrics are very hard hitting and thought provoking, but it’s the music that wins it. The slow build up that casually introduces different instruments works so well with the dynamics of the song. The strongest overall quality of the album is with out a doubt the lyrics. Each song addresses a new issue and vocally he chooses to address them in different ways; from the straightforward busking troubadour style of ‘Let Her Go’ to the almost soulful way of ‘Holes’.
If that wasn’t enough, we all know that everyone enjoys a good rant now and again. To close the album off Rosenberg has done that for the audience with his live version of ‘I Hate’. It is a very comical yet true song and it will be hard not to find yourself agreeing with just about everything he says.
It isn’t a politically correct album, it isn’t an album that is trying to win fans over, it is a humble album of a man sharing his thoughts with anyone who wants to listen. There is no bias to this album, it has a range of instrumental that vast, and everyone can find at least one song that they enjoy. It is a stab at todays many problems and he does quite well at it too.