Review: Passenger – All The Little Lights

Passenger began as a five-piece band in the early noughties and released their debut album in 2007. Fast forward six years and Passenger is now made up of one Mike Rosenberg with this album, All The Little Lights, being his third solo album to date.

The album opens with delicate string accompaniments in opener “Things That Stop You Dreaming” which sets a pleasant scene. Paired with Rosenberg’s distinctive accent, this first track serves as an ideal introduction to the poignant and humorous lyrics which dominate the rest of the album.

“Let Her Go” is possibly Passenger’s most recognisable single to date. It’s gentle piano and string accompaniment compliments the compelling and truthful lyrics. The track ends with just Rosenberg’s voice unaccompanied, which proves to be both haunting and beautiful.

The use of banjos and horns produce a livelier and more upbeat feel in “Staring at the Stars” and the final track, “Holes” is a live recording which idyllically captures Rosenberg’s amusing and witty song-writing ability.

The album also comes with a second disc containing acoustic versions of eight tracks. Although this is slightly unnecessary it does serve to highlight further Passenger’s raw and fresh talent.

The work of a truly unique and profound singer-songwriter is one which must be thoroughly appreciated. All too often, the popular music scene is plagued with synthesizers and voices auto-tuned beyond recognition. Passenger is a breath of fresh air and this original talent provides a small glimmer of hope in an otherwise questionable industry.

Rating: 4.5/5

Sharron Lynskey

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