Photo: Courtesy of Passenger Music

Passenger's newest album expresses themes of love, age and wisdom

Release: Sept. 23

Label: Nettwerk Productions Ltd. 

Duration: 60 minutes

Grade: A+

Rhythmic and soothing, Passenger’s new album "Young As The Morning, Old As The Sea" is a romantic, retrospective collection of songs.

Starting off the album, the song "Everything" is a reminiscent track that muses about the value of life and love. The last lyric of the song, “nothing's ever something until you give everything,” gives a summary of the idea which floods the album: love makes life valuable.

Looking back at the innocence of youth, the track "When We Were Young" reminds listeners of their own childhood when, as the song says, “everything was in reach.”  This song triumphs the strength and beauty of childhood dreams and having hope and courage to achieve them.

The song "Anywhere" is a cheerful song with an upbeat tempo. Mike Rosenberg — the voice of the stage name Passenger — sings about the joyful mentality that accompanies love and the endless possibilities that bring excitement to a relationship. This track also reiterates how loyal love can be with the line, “I’ll go anywhere with you,” seeming to encourage the dreams of those who are young and in love.

With a slightly more pessimistic view about the flip side of love, "Somebody’s Love" speaks of the human need for “somebody to know you,” especially in times of trouble.  While this song may seem a little disheartening, it seems to carry the purpose of reminding listeners how important loving relationships can be.

The title track "Young As The Morning, Old As the Sea" is a primarily instrumental track with vocals that speak of Rosenberg’s past and origins in romantic detail.  The song speaks of the beauty of youth but contrasts this with the significance of wisdom at an older age. This song reflects the album’s themes of love, youth, age and wisdom.

Passenger partners with singer and songwriter, Birdy, in the track "Beautiful Birds" to compose a melody with lyrics that evoke emotion.  Again taking a sadder tone, the song progresses into the difficult times that people often face in their relationships, as well as the importance of working together to make a relationship work.  

"The Long Road" furthers the melancholy tone, although with a more upbeat tempo. This track speaks of memories a couple has of collecting seashells and spending Christmas together, yet progresses to the relationship growing apart. Towards the end of the song, Passenger inserts the lyric that stops the listener in their tracks: “You stare back at a man, forever holding out his hand.” It is with this song that listeners realize the album has taken a turn from youthful innocence and the joys of love to the brokenness of a relationship that dissolves over time.

"Fool’s Gold" again emphasizes that the beauty of young relationships may be deceiving. Just as with fool’s gold, we may be tricked into assuming that the love we have is of pure quality and utmost value when, in actuality, it is fake. It’s only by going through the testing times that we many discover what is gold and what is fake. The line, “I won’t ask for fool’s gold anymore,” may indicate that Passenger once experienced a relationship that appeared more valuable than it turned out to be.

Returning to the theme of offering hope and joy in the difficult times, the final track titled "Home," reminds us that if a relationship ends it doesn’t mean life is lost. With the lyrics, “Am I loveless or do I just love less / Oh since love left I have nothing left to fear,” seems to remind listeners that not being in a relationship can offer the freedom that may leave our hearts feeling the most whole.

Emphasizing his unique, quirky voice, Passenger also offers six tracks in acoustic versions, appealing to the true beauty and purity of an emphasis on vocals instead of background effects or edits. 

Overall, Passenger’s new album takes the listener through a progressive movement of love from its innocent youth to its age and ultimate end, while also reflecting the value of both youth and age in life.



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