Album Review: Passenger, “All The Little Lights” (2013)

Passenger, 'All The Little Lights'

You’ve likely heard Passenger’s single, “Let Her Go” on the radio (and there’s also a fantastic mash-up of Let Her Go/Let It Go from Frozen that you need to hear- YouTube it, NOW!). The track was one of those little sleeper hits, one that you heard a handful of times and then it suddenly was everywhere you went. The song actually comes from Passenger’s (which is just a stage name for British musician, Michael David Rosenberg) fourth studio album, “All The Little Lights” which was released in 2012.

“All The Little Lights” is an album of sensitive, acoustic-guitar rock; the sort of album that’d sit elbow-to-elbow with music from David Grey, or even Ed Sheeran. Passenger’s got the perfect falsetto for the genre, and though his vocals are nothing fantastic, it’s really his sweet delivery and beautifully composed songs that make the album so good.

Of course, lead single, “Let Her Go” is the best song on the disc; the contradictory lyrics (“But you only need the light when it’s burning low/Only miss the sun when it starts to snow/Only know you love her when you let her go”), and extremely catchy melody led the song to top of the charts in various countries.

Passenger at the SWR3 New Pop Festival in Baden-Baden 2013

Meanwhile the album’s opener, “Things That Stop You From Dreaming”, boasts more clever lyrics (“Well, I’ve got no-one’s word and nobody’s promise/Not a lot to show but this book full of sonnets/My liver may be f–ked, but my heart is honest/And my word is true like the sky is blue”) set against a lovely guitar and piano melody. “Staring At The Stars” is an upbeat number that has a bit of a bluegrass-influence to it, while “Feather on The Clyde” is a beautiful ballad that showcases Passenger’s soft vocals.

“All The Little Lights” is definitely not the most exciting album; nearly all the songs are ballads, and even the upbeat numbers are still highlighted with the same couple of chords and Passenger’s somewhat plaintive vocals. However, the album is perfect for adult contemporary/indie Brit-pop/acoustic-guitar lovers, or anyone that’s just looking for some soothing background music.

Rating: 1000px-3.5_stars.svg

Track Listing
1. Things That Stop You Dreaming
2. Let Her Go
3. Staring at the Stars
4. All the Little Lights
5. The Wrong Direction
6. Circles
7. Keep on Walking
8. Patient Love
9. Life’s for the Living
10. Holes
11. Feather on the Clyde


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