UK-based Mike Rosenberg, known on-stage as Passenger, has been adopted as an honorary Aussie: he recorded his latest release All The Little Lights in Sydney, spends more time here than in his home country, and you may have just seen him busking in Freo over the weekend.
With four successful albums under his belt, Passenger has presented us with his most mature record yet.
Upbeat ditty Staring At The Stars is a gleefully bitter reflection of reality and popular culture: “We watch too much internet porn/Who needs love when you’ve got silicon and strap-ons”.
But this record isn’t all clever cynicism, and a healthy juxtaposition of bitter and beautiful is showcased, with tunes like the lilting Life’s For The Living and Keep On Walking proving Passenger’s passion for troubadour style story-telling. Though each song tells a different tale, Rosenberg has somehow managed to fit all the pieces together to create a flowing, continuous record, with a few warranted ripples here and there.
The record is wrapped up with a live recording of his much-loved, cheeky single I Hate, a perfect ending to a near-perfect album.
All The Little Lights is a personal reflection, an all-encompassing, storytelling album that will haul you through emotions you weren’t aware you possessed. There’s a lot of folk music out there at the moment, but there is nothing wishy washy or bland about Passenger – if you buy one folk album this year, make it this one.