I wish that every time I listened to this album was the first time. It lasted the entire length of a tube journey from Hammersmith to Arsenal, and was decorated with some very real smiles and some very real tears.
UK born Mike Rosenburg formed the band Passenger, which released their first album in 2007. They disbanded, as it were, soon after the release of this album. But Mike kept the Passenger name alive, seemingly as a moniker for his self-produced solo material. He went on to release 3 more albums independently, predominantly funded through his busking. He has settled in Australia, where he released a 5th album All the Little Lights, which has charted at #9 over there.
I stumbled upon the second track of the album, Let Her Go, about a month ago, and was left utterly speechless. This is a definite signature track of the album; a haunting introduction, some beautiful lyrics and a delicate vocal. If you listen to that track and fall in love, as I did, then the rest of the album will leave you wonderfully fulfilled! It is a proper journeyman’s album, littered with deft touches of production and a frankly gorgeous vocal. But these are merely vehicles for Mike’s true talent; his lyrics. He can take an everyday object and put a real sense of magic into it. It is poetry that Roald Dahl would be proud of, and it is often delivered with a similar sense of humour
The title track All the Little Lights talks of these little lights in your heart going out one by one. ‘One went out when I lied to my mother; said the cigarettes she found were not mine. One went out within me, now I smoke like a chimney, its getting dark in this heart of mine.’ I could quote these tracks all day long!
This album is buried deep with little treasures. From the opening track which states ‘if you cant get what you need, you learn to need the Things That Stop You Dreaming’ to my favourite, Patient Love, which finally brought me to tears somewhere or other, 8 songs down the Picadilly line. ‘Two sips of whiskey in the flask but I’m not going to drink them, I swear I’ll make it last, till we’re drinking out of the same glass again.’ This is an album full of these little treasures; made for romanticists and travellers alike.
There is also a wicked sense of humour inherent throughout. As an acoustic artist myself, I feel very happy to leave you with the opening line of his live track I Hate, recorded at ‘The Borderline’ in London. Well, that and one last encouragement to buy this record and find the remaining little treasures for yourselves.
‘I hate racist blokes telling tasteless jokes, and explaining where people belong. I hate ignorant folks, who pay money to see gigs, and talk through every fucking song!’
Passenger is touring the UK with Ed Sheeran in the latter months of 2012, so get listening and get involved!
Website ::: http://passengermusic.com/