Album Review : Passenger – Whispers

PassengerAfter creating his own breakthrough with All The Little Lights and supporting the kind-of-parallel to himself troubadour Ed Sheeran on tour, the anticipation and expectations for Mike Rosenberg’s follow-up release Whispers hold no bounds. Whispers exhibits not only Rosenberg’s distinct knack of making any melody sound tantalising, but also his forthright flair for fable telling, as he weaves together intuitive lyricism with a beguiling blend of instruments such as the guitar, harmonica and cello.

‘Heart’s on Fire, ’the first track released from Whispers in April, eminent for it’s featuring of Ed Sheeran in both the song and music video, touches on the idea of someone being so right, but the timing being so wrong. With the mellow tones, placid and timorous guitar plucking, despondent yet flawless violin resonances and warbling harmonies of the two voices combined, this track could’ve easily made it’s way onto the soundtrack for 500 Days of Summer if only it was written five or six years earlier.

Passenger’s forte is passionate lyricism and as if ‘Let Her Go’ didn’t already prove that, the heart-wrenching track ‘Golden Leaves’ indubitably does as it stands out the most tear-jerking song on the record with lyrics like, I fear I’ll choke unless I spit it out, still smell of smoke although the fires gone out, can’t live with you but I’d die without” and the dramatically melancholy violin again makes an appearance, sounding behind to equal the temperament.

‘27’ prevails as a stand-out track for the record, featuring Rosenberg recounting on a wholly bona fide existence, specifying the intricacies and figures of time elapsed on songwriting, the amount of cigarettes smoked, the days spent sleeping and the money wasted on beer. Although lying underneath these recitals of regrets, a small light shines through with lines like “I write songs that come from the heart, I don’t give a fuck if they get to the chart” and “A little bit faded, a little bit jaded, not going to stop and I won’t be persuaded to write words I can’t believe in to see my face on a video screen”

For the most-part, Whispers is Rosenberg growing even further into his own, and somewhat an illustration of the fear of what his new-found fame might force him to leave behind, with tracks like ‘Start a fire,’ ‘Rolling Stone,’ and ‘Thunder’ all showing his cultivating wisdom with lyrics such as “I was born a baby boy a long time ago…” in ‘Start a Fire’ and “I’m yesterday’s paper, I’m yesterday’s news” in ‘Thunder.’

Closing track ‘Scare away the dark’ touches on what we should really be getting out of our lives, Rosenberg proclaims that “we should run through the forests, we should swim in the streams, we should laugh, we should cry, we should love, we should dream, we should stare at the stars and not just the screens” Although, it wouldn’t be Passenger without any heated harangues, as he rants “we want something more, not just nasty and bitter, we want something real not just hash tags and twitter, it’s the meaning of life and it’s streamed live on YouTube, but I bet Gangnam Style will still get more views, we’re scared of drowning, flying and shooters but we’re all slowly dying in front of fucking computers”

Whispers is a journey that picks you up from the very start and carries you through a tremendous sum of emotions and all in just forty minutes. Rosenberg’s success has been almost as quick a journey leading up to the release of Whispers, and with the way his name has spread like wildfire over the past two years, he should probably be changing his stage name from ‘Passenger’ to ‘In the driver’s seat’ (and unquestionably driving towards something spectacular)

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