United Kingdom-based band Passenger released their new album "Runaway" at the end of August and has received mixed reviews since its release.
Passenger starts off the album strongly with the track "Hell or High Water," and it is definitely worth a listen due to its combination of the relatively upbeat pace combined with catchy, yet meaningful, lyric.
I tend to be on the pessimistic side, but the lyrics certainly cut deep because of the emotion and passion behind the words, and something I can relate to.
I am not a huge fan of the track "Why Can’t I Change," since it is not a song with lyrics I can personally relate. However, I am still able to appreciate the lyrics because they seem like they could easily be meaningful for the artist or other fans.
Although the lyrics are at least somewhat decent, the song is pretty short, and the words do not go as far when there are only a few verses.
On top of this, the music for both "Why Can’t I Change" and "Heart To Love" resemble country songs too much for what I have come to expect from Passenger. While these songs would not technically be classified as country, they are just a bit too close to the genre for me to give it a second listen.
The forth track, "Let’s Go," immediately caught my attention. The instrumentals are definitely interesting and appreciated, and the lyrics are some of the better lyrics Passenger has produced. While this song does not surpass several of my favorites from his previous albums, it is absolutely worth listening to a couple of times.
In comparison, "He Leaves You Cold" is trash. It is not that the lyrics and music aren’t decent. Perhaps, I would listen again if I could not find anything else to play or if it was on the radio. I simply cannot fathom how either Michael David Rosenberg, 34-year-old singer-songwriter with the stage-name of Passenger, could connect to these lyrics, and this disbelief immediately makes it feel disingenuous. While it may involve a memory of his or some vaguely-related event in his life, I am unsure as to why he is writing about it.
Unfortunately, I cannot help but notice another flawed pattern: all of the album’s songs have to do with some form of love, and, by the fifth song in a row, I am a bit sick of it.
"Ghost Town" is probably the best song, and it is not a love song so it adds some much needed variety to the album. The lyrics are absolutely brilliant and, despite being too slow for some people’s tastes, it is definitely a beautiful and touching song. Between the calming string instrumentals and the artfully tragic lyrics, “Ghost Town” is an elegant piece.
"Runaway" shines alongside "Ghost Town" on the album, not because it is not just another love song, but also due to how it incorporates relatable themes of loneliness and exhaustion. “Runaway” is definitely worth listening to, and I can see why the album is named after it.
"Eagle Bear Buffalo" is another stunning song and paints an amazing picture of nature for listeners. It is definitely worth listening to on repeat, particularly for Passenger fans since it provides a look into the singer's life and experience in Yellowstone National Park.
I definitely appreciate the song "To Be Free," which features a piano and induces a soothing mood. The lyrics seem to be very personal to the artist, which is always refreshing, and they are interesting to say the least.
Passenger’s vocal skills are highlighted in the last song, "Survivors." This song is definitely a good end to the album, though it is not the best on the album. The lyrics are undoubtedly great, but the underlying beat could have been altered to be better.
While I certainly pay attention to the lyrics, I pay more attention to the music which I believe holds more weight in a song. Because I tend to focus on the music itself, I appreciate certain songs more than others; "Ghost Town" for example.
The album as a whole is a bit too much of one sound for me to take in one sitting, but overall, most of the individual songs are good and worth the listen.
The first half of the album seems like the same song over and over again, but the second half is something pretty special. Unfortunately for Passenger, the second half of the album is by no mean a redemption, resulting in "Runaway" not holding up to its predecessors.