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I've had Passenger's album 'all the little lights' for a month or so now, and its already well on its way to becoming one of my favourites of recent years. Its easy to listen to, but extremely captivating at the same time, especially when you sit down and really take in the lyrics. For me, a great album can make you cry, laugh, smile and reflect in the same sitting - and 'All the Little Lights' delivers just that.
There are no frills to the production - no fancy instruments, autotune or special effects. Its music as it should be; raw and from the heart. The lead singer has an extremely unique voice that is like a dream to listen to, and some of the acoustic guitar melodies are just wonderful. The lyrics are profound and relatable - for example, tracks like 'Things that Stop you Dreaming' and 'All the little lights' address the process of growing up whilst trying not to lose the sparkle of youth, and how modern day society warps so many kids into mindless, soulless adults. The most well known track on the album, 'Let her go,' offers a soulful take on love and heartbreak, whilst tracks like 'I hate' effortlessly combine music with comedy, and offer some light relief from the deeper tracks on the album.
I'd recommend this album to anyone that appreciates eloquent song writing, thought provoking lyrics and beautiful vocals. Passenger are a very unique outfit, which makes them hard to compare them to anyone in the industry right now - but if you're a fan of Ed Sheeran, Newton Faulkener, Paolo Nutini, the XX, or Vampire Weekend, I'd strongly suggest giving this album a listen.
Passenger's real name is Michael David Rosenberg. He's a 29 year old singer from Brighton & Hove and he writes all of his songs himself. This album is his fourth album and it was released in early 2012. His style is indie/folk. I started listening to Passenger on YouTube a few months ago after I heard his song "Let Her Go" on the radio. I'm actually pretty sure that everyone will have heard this song because it was, and still is played on the radio pretty much every day. I'm still not bored of it though!
His voice stood out to me the minute that I heard the first few lines of that song and I soon got hooked on his music because his voice is so beautiful, and I love that his unique accent shows through in most of his songs as this really sets him apart from similar artists. I would say that he is quite similar to other singer song writer artists such as Ed Sheeran, Bed Howard, Mumford and Sons etc. His voice expresses emotion very well, and his songs are very descriptive.
Many of them tell a story, and each is lovely to listen to. I always feel quite reassured when I listen to his music, no matter what song he is singing because of the gentle tone of his voice and the things that he sings about are down to earth and speak of real life experiences. some of which I my self can relate to as I'm sure many others will too. This album, All The Little Lights is an album which I downloaded via iTunes during the summer. I can't believe it took me so long to download it because there are songs on here that I wasn't able to listen to on YouTube and I was definitely missing out before I got the album!
This is a very meaningful album and you can tell that he doesn't just churn albums out, a lot of work has gone into it. As mentioned before, it is actually his forth album and after listening to this I have already purchased two of his other albums. I do have to say though out of the three of his albums that I have, this one is my favourite. I bought my copy of this album from iTunes, I have a digital copy on my iPod. I paid £5.99 for the album and I think that this is really good value for money given that there are 12 full length songs on the album. I have listened to each of the songs about ten times too so I've certainly got my money's worth.
The album has got a really big variety of songs. Some are love songs, some are break-up songs, some are a little random with the singer's general thoughts/observations, a few are about being stuck in a dead end town and being generally fed up with life and some are just silly/funny songs talking of his general life experiences. There is a song which touches a little on bereavement as well and also a song about learning to cope with being in a bad situation and making your life better for your self. He tells stories through his songs as well, and I have found some of the songs are very relatable which makes them that bit better in my opinion.
There are a range of instruments used in the songs including a piano, guitar, drums, a violin etc. As mentioned briefly before there are twelve songs on the album. There is also a limited edition version of this album which has an extra eight songs on it, all of which are acoustic, however unfortunately I only have the regular version. I love all of the songs on this album and I can't really fault any of them. If I had to pick five favourites they'd be: Let Her Go, Life's For The Living, Holes, All The Little Lights and Keep On Walking.
I also really love the last song on the album "I Hate" (Live from The Borderline, London) which is hilarious, Passenger talks about how he hates things like X factor, picky eaters and Facebook etc and you can hear the audience members laughing and everything he says is spot on. There is quite a lot of swear words in this one but it's really entertaining to listen to. There are some swear words and lyrics of a sexual nature in many of the songs of the album though so if you get offended by things like that this then the album may not be for you. Although the swearing isn't too excessive, I do find some of it unnecessary but it doesn't effect my overall opinion of the album. My favourite song on the album at the minute is definitely Life's For The Living, the line "life's for the living so live it, or you're better off dead' always makes me smile. All in all I recommend this album and I give it five out of five stars.
Passenger seems to have appeared from no-where. Real name Mike Rosenberg is a British Folk / Rock singer. He has actually been around before as part of a band also named Passenger - I hadn't heard of them either and even though he is now a solo artist, he decided to continue using the band's name for himself. So here is Passenger with his debut album.
All The Little Lights is the debut solo album from Passenger - although it is actually the third album by Passenger, although this is the first one without his band mates. It was released in the United Kingdom in February 2012 - although I had never heard of it until now. In fact I thought that it was only released a couple of months ago - how wrong was I! The album is currently available for sale from Amazon for a price of £7.00 which I think is good value for money.
~ * Track Listing * ~
1) Things That Stop You Dreaming 2) Let Her Go 3) Staring At The Stars 4) All The Little Lights 5) The Wrong Direction 6) Circles 7) Keep On Walking 8) Patient Love 9) Life's For The Living 10) Holes 11) Feather on the Clyde 12) I Hate (Live from Borderline, London)
~ * Things The Stop You Dreaming * ~
When I first heard the beginning of this song, I thought I had picked up the wrong album as this sounds more like something from an orchestra than something from a 'pop star' in the charts. It is quite a dreamy song. I Can't say that I love this song - it's very unusual and I find the lyrics quite interesting to listen to as they tell a story. This song reminds me a bit of Amy McDonald's kind of songs. To be honest I thought that it was quite a weak start to the album. It's a short and sweet kind of song which doesn't really go anywhere in my opinion.
~ * Let Her Go * ~
I actually bought the album after hearing this song as the lead single. It is such a beautiful song which is easy to listen to. It is a very emotional and heartfelt ballad which I think is very easy to connect to - everyone can relate to the sadness of a broken heart. A lovely song which I love. It is the kind of song which you can listen to over and over again. It gives me goose pimples when I listen to this song. I love this song as it is so catchy and I just cannot resist singing along to it. This is the kind of song which makes me think 'ah I wish I wrote that'.
~ * Staring At The Stars * ~
I don't really like this song. I know it is a folk song but I can't help that it is a little bit too fast - the singing is too fast and sounds too rushed and is just really annoys me. It is an easy listening kind of song although I don't really like it. It's more of a filler than what I would call a 'proper song'. I definitely wouldn't say 'ooh put that song on again'. In fact I tend to skip this song as I find it quite cringey to listen to.
~ * All The Little Lights * ~
This is a nice, cheeky little song. It's quite catchy and I would describe it as being easy listening. I like the fact that it as though you are listening to a story when you listen to this song. The background music reminds me of something you would hear on a children's programme I don't know why.
~ * The Wrong Direction * ~
I like this song as I think that it is very likeable - the kind of song which you just cannot help but like. Again another lyrically interesting song which tells a story. This song is very easy listening and the kind of song you could listen to whilst driving along in the car. I like the harmonies on this song - they are very good.
~ * Circles * ~
This song seems to go round in circles!! Not my favourite song....skip!
~ * Keep on Walking * ~
This song is interesting to listen to as it tells a story, although it is not the kind of song I would want to listen to over and over again though....another one I tend to skip.
~ * Patient Love * ~
As the album seems to go on it seems to get a bit more boring!! I find this song to be quite dull!! Another skip! Sorry Passenger!
~ * Life's For The Living * ~
I knew as soon as this song started that I would like it. It's a simple little song. Again, it tells a little story which makes it interesting to like it. To be honest though, it really isn't that different to any of the other songs on this album - they all sound the same. I have to say that I do like this song though - there is something quite sweet about it. I also like that it actually gets going too.
~ * Holes * ~
This song shows off Passenger's voice. He sings this song well and the song really suits his voice. A nice little song. It's not amazing but it is easy on the ears and a pleasure to listen to.
~ * Feather on the Clyde *~
Another dull song!! SKIP!! Sorry!!!!
~ * I Hate (Live from Borderline London) * ~
This shows how good Passenger is as a live artist. He sounds really good on here. I don't particularly like live performances on albums though - I don't know why, I much prefer a more finished studio version. Whilst he's good, I don't think I would like to go to one of his concerts as he seems a bit too samey.
~ * What About Passenger Himself? *~
Passenger is obviously very musically talented. He has a soft and gentle kind of voice and you can tell that he is really passionate about the music - his passion really shines through when you listen to him sing and you can tell that he really means and cares about what he is singing. I hate being mean, but I do think that Passenger has the kind of voice which grates on you after a while. I find that he sounds a bit like Daniel Bedingfield, although he also reminds me of James Blunt - who I also find that I can't listen to after a couple of songs.
~ * What About The Album Overall? * ~
The album provides great easy listening music. The songs are quite gentle and I find that there is something quite calm and soothing about this album which means that it is a great CD to listen to whilst relaxing. Then again, I think that it is the kind of album which you can listen to anywhere; in the car, in the house or on in the background etc.
Even though I like some of the songs on this album, to be honest the album is not really my cup of tea. I am a bit disappointed with it; I'm not saying that is a bad album because it isn't really, just that I had better expectations of it. I had thought that it would be a bit more poppy than it was although it's all mainly folk music. I would therefore say that if you like folk music then you will probably like this album. I'm just disappointed that the rest of the songs on this album are not as good as 'Let Her Go' which was the reason why I bought this album.
I would recommend this album, because you may like it and it's just not my kind of music which makes me say that I do not like it. Apart from that, it's not a bad album. It's just all a bit samey!
Thanks for reading!
Xdonzx / xd-o-n-z-x
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Things That Stop You Dreaming
2 Let Her Go
3 Staring At The Stars
4 All The Little Lights
5 The Wrong Direction
7 Keep On Walking
8 Patient Love
9 Life s For The Living
11 Feather On The Clyde
12 I Hate (Live from The Borderline, London)