Talented musicians make their craft look ridiculously easy. After listening to Passenger’s sixth studio album, Whispers, you might feel like you too can grab a guitar and begin swooning a love ballad that captures the essence of youth.
Of course, if you do so, you’ll realise how much time, effort and talent has gone into Whispers. Despite being a mainstream success, reaching the top five of the Billboard chart in February this year, Passenger has managed to keep a very pre-success sound. There’s an excitement of things to come, best experienced with album opener Coins In A Fountain and, later, Thunder. Michael Rosenburg’s voice can barely hold back from breaking with anticipation. The flip side of this excitement is also captured beautifully with 27 and Rolling Stone, exploring that frustration at the need for patience. Passenger’s subdued vocals throughout the album accentuate his Brighton accent, and add a maturity that belies the music’s youthful tones. This is a record which personifies the exuberance and vision of someone in their prime, on the cusp of great things, while showing the patient skill and focus typically found in much older musicians.
Combined, they become something magical, a sound that few can replicate.