By Roxanne Daniels: Mysterious Passenger sings of rockets, regret and love in his latest album, All the Little Lights. A feature is the nostalgic “Let Her Go”, this single being Passenger’s first international success after becoming the number one song in 15 countries.
Mike Rosenberg goes by Passenger. This is a stage name kept from the band Passenger which split up before Rosenberg went on to release four albums as a solo artist.
Rosenberg seems to enjoy the unconventional production of music, having “All the Little Lights” produced by Chris Vallejo, the owner of Linear Studios in Sydney, Australia. He admits in an interview with Vancouver Weekly that this album, released in February 2012, is “more produced” than his previous three. Rosenberg values the honesty of songs made up of merely his raw voice and the plucking of a guitar. This album moves away from that slightly.
There are more instruments heard and the violin is a prominent mellow piece heard in track one, “Things That Stop You Dreaming”. Similarly, “Staring at the Stars” which has an upbeat backing track of guitars, piano, violin and drums ironically opposes the upsetting lyrics addressing the deterioration of life.
Rosenberg does hold on to his original value of bareness though, with just voice and guitar in “I Hate”, a fun track inviting fans to ridicule and acceptably hate social issues (like non-smokers coughing at smokers or magazines advocating unhealthy living).
This is the essence of his music, lyrics that provoke thought and question towards society and living in the world we do. With all songs written by Rosenberg himself, he is visibly personally involved in each song and is emotionally affected as he shows heartfelt dedication in “Staring at the Sky”.
It is evident in his new album with his old and new style that Passenger can’t quite decide which genre to stick to. All the Little Lights, released in February 2012 is a strange combination of pop, folk-rock, folk and country. It is an interesting blend of sounds that enticed me to carry on listening to his words and compositions of music.
I found myself oddly attracted to his style despite the tragedy of some of his lyrics. I was compelled to listen and start humming along. This album is worth having on your playlist for relaxing occasions, as it is with Jack Johnson or John Mayer.
It is available for digital and physical purchase on the Passenger music website here.