My husband and children keep me informed about the finer things in life. So when they suggested I give Passenger (British folk-rock band with front-man Mike Rosenberg) a try, I listened.
Passenger’s first album, Wicked Man’s Rest (2007) was a disappointment to Rosenberg who felt it was an inauthentic representation of the band’s true style. The music was skewed by trying to please everyone. The band eventually split, but Rosenberg continued performing under the Passenger name.
It’s hard for me to warm up to new music. I’m the kind of listener who spends time with an artist before I go all in. A quick radio listen isn’t going to woo me right away. I need space to savor an album to decide exactly how I feel.
Well, after putting Passenger through my standard auditory and mental marination process, I’ve decided I’m in. I like him. If you’re a fan of Glen Hansard or Damien Rice or even Alexi Murdoch , I think you’ll like Passenger. My husband went even further and compared Rosenberg to a modern-day James Taylor. I think that’s a fair comparison as well.
Take some time to listen to Rosenberg’s simple performance at the 2013 Pinkpop Festival . He captivates the massive crowd with a lone guitar and microphone. No backup. No light show. Nothing. It’s Rosenberg and the audience, and you’ll find yourself right there with him, no bells and whistles necessary.
In the interest of full disclosure, you should know that he’s liberal with his use of profanity. However, I think you’ll also find his passion and wit refreshing and endearing.
Now, I will leave you to explore the sound that is Passenger. Here’s the set list from Pinkpop.
- “Fairytales and Firesides” – “… We are coffeehouse cynics, too righteous, to rigid to believe. Disappointed romantics, scraping heart’s from our sleeves …”
- “Life’s for the Living” – “… Don’t cry for the lost. Smile for the living. Get what you need, and give what you’re given …”
- “The Sound of Silence” – (Simon & Garfunkel cover)
- “I Hate” – “I hate racist blokes, telling tasteless jokes and explaining where people belong …”
- “Eye of the Tiger” – (Survivor cover)
- “Let Her Go ” – “… Staring at the bottom of your glass, hoping one day you’ll make a dream last …”
- “The Wrong Direction” – “… Cause I’d love to feel love, but I can’t stand the rejection. I hide behind my jokes as a form of protection …”
- “27 ” – “… 27 years old only thing I know, the only thing that gets old, I gotta sell out if I want to get sold …”
- “Dancing in the Dark” – (Bruce Springsteen cover)
- “Holes” – “… Well sometimes you can’t change, and you can’t choose. And sometimes it seems you gain less than you lose …”