Album Review: Passenger – Whispers
Mike Rosenberg, the British mastermind behind Passenger, has been captivating audiences around the globe since his folk-pop smash hit “Let Her Go”. Rosenberg sold over 4 million copies of his debut album, All The Little Lights, worldwide. His disarming honesty and passion for music resonates throughout both of his albums and his delicate, raspy voice reminds us all of the famous Cat Stevens. Rosenberg really out did himself; Whispers is such a raw album that will leave you in a state of contemplation and introspection.
Whispers opens with “Coins In A Fountain,” where Rosenberg sings of romance to lightly beating drums, “Love is a baby born / Love is the last unicorn / Love is the only song I’ll sing.” He changes pace in “Golden Leaves,” a heart-wrenching tune concerning the pain of a breakup. Behind melancholy strings, he questions, “Do you remember how this started out? / So full of hope, but now we’re filled with doubt / I can’t live with you, but I’d die without.”
I’ve always been the type of person to advocate staying true to yourself—no matter what—and “27” really spoke to me because he delivers that message. It’s hard to be who you want to be with all of the pressures of society, but Rosenberg portrays how he continues to overcome these pressures without selling out, “I know that I don’t know how / To please everybody all of the time / ‘Cause everybody always fucking changes their mind / A little bit of faith and a little bit of chain / Don’t want to stop, won’t be persuaded.” He doesn’t care what people think and you shouldn’t either.
“Scare Away The Dark,” my favorite song on Whispers, is an original tune that creatively describes the worlds addiction to technology and taking our everyday lives for granted. Rosenberg sings, “We should laugh, we should cry / We should love, we should dream / We should stare at the stars and not just the screens / You should hear what I’m saying and know what it means.” There is more to life than our addictions, and unfortunately he’s right, “We’re all slowly dying in front of computers.” This song reminded me of a conversation I just had, about a quote from Shawshank Redemption regarding life, “I guess it comes down to a simple choice, really. Get busy living or get busy dying.”
Whispers takes you on a journey down a road of authenticity and truth. Rosenberg’s storytelling set to flawless arrangements, harmonics, and classy strings is not only beautiful, but relatable. The heart and soul he poured into this album easily moves its listener. It is one of the purest albums I’ve heard, one that will be ranking highly on my Best of 2014 list.