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Review: Passenger - 'Runaway'

| Album

Passenger’s latest album, 'Runaway', is defined by easy-listening folk-pop that has just enough emotion to be affecting without being a heart-breaker.

By Daniel Lückhoff-Wessels

Published Wednesday, 18 September 2019 08:29

While the lyrics stray on the cliché side at times, Passenger’s idiosyncratic voice has enough charm and earnestness to give them validity while the arrangements gently caress the emotion out of the songs.

'Why Can’t I Change' has a slightly Bob Dylan-esque feel to it with its electronic organ and simple drum-beat while “Heart To Love” has a dash of Counting Crows in its arpeggiated guitar and up-beat rhythm which belies the longing in the lyrics.

The title track is the sum of all the album’s parts, lyrically and musically. With its Americana based sound, it could easily be a part of the soundtrack to many an indie road-trip movie while the words sum up the message of the whole album, none more so than “well my soul’s a castaway/tired of being alone.” This is an album about growing up and facing the challenges of love head-on, and 'Runaway' aptly brings everything together.

What 'Runaway' lacks in lyrical originality it makes up for with earnestness and solid musicianship. Its pop sensibilities keep it from lingering and its arrangements have enough emotion in them to strum your heart-strings ever so lightly.

Updated on:
>> Monday, 03 October 2022 13:47



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  • Singer-songwriter

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About Passenger

With his intimate, folk-inflected sound, Mike Rosenberg, aka Passenger, has built a loyal following, garnering accolades and chart success along the way. A native of Brighton, England, Rosenberg initially started Passenger as a band, but after their debut album, he headed out on his own, assuming the moniker as his stage name. He busked around Australia while recording his first few albums before breaking through with the single "Let Her Go" from his 2012 album All the Little Lights.
The song topped the charts in several countries, peaking at number one on the Billboard Adult Top 40 chart. It also earned Passenger a Brit Award nomination for British Single of the Year and won the Ivor Novello Award for Most Performed Work. Since then, he has remained a constant presence on the folk and pop charts, issuing a string of lyrical and cinematic albums including 2014's Whispers, 2016's Young as the Morning Old as the Sea, 2018's Runaway, and 2022's Birds That Flew and Ships That Sailed.


Passenger - Runaway

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