Michael Rosenberg has taken himself on one hell of a ride as Passenger, the English folk singer/songwriter took on his dissolved band’s name to continue on as a soloist in 2009; since then he has four studio albums under his belt, Whispers will be number five within five years since going solo. Passenger gained a huge following over the years, but enjoyed sweet success with his multi country chart topping single Let Her Go; he has also worked on recordings with stars such as Kate Miller-Heidke, Ed Sheeran and Jools Holland. As a teaser for Whispers, Passenger released Heart’s On Fire in April, a track with that soft touch he masterfully applies to his music. The new album is bound to impress, it is hoped to meet anticipation of existing fans and hopefully gain some new ones for Passenger.
Whispers is introduced by the beat happy Coins In A Fountain, there is just something poetic in the way Passenger’s voice carries the story of the track, and the percussion is intriguing. 27 is an album highlight as it is catchily upbeat, nicely written and you hear a fun side to the singer/songwriter; lead single Heart’s On Fire is that moving ballad that touches on the bad timing of a relationship with a person who seems right for you. You find yourself nodding your head to the folk/rock number Bullets which ends on a lighter note, the violin adds a dramatic effect to the personal feel of Golden Leaves, and Passenger cooks up a storm with the enthusiastically addictive vibe of Thunder.
Rolling Stone is a smooth listen, yet another track intriguingly written, but that’s the beauty of folk music. There is something wonderful about the build up in Start A Fire, the intro gives way to the vocal backed up by a fast paced soundscape of instruments. Title track Whispers begins as such as we are treated to Passenger’s softer vocal, only for the track to explode with an energy so great; Riding To New York is yet another story the singer had to tell, the instrumentation makes its presence known but allows for the tale to be told in full. Scare Away The Dark is the album’s closing track, it is almost anthemic with the way it is written and touches on what we really should get out of life rather than what we take for granted.
Whispers is a journey, every song has their own story to tell and Passenger was the one to share them. Folk music is definitely a unique musical genre, you are taken for a ride whether you like it or not, and there are bound to be folk songs that touch on experiences so relatable; this is no exception. Passenger united all the broken hearted when the world was listening to Let Her Go, and with this new album Whispers he can give the world so much more. Fans will love and treasure this album.