Passenger unsurprisingly releases another heartbreaking album


Courtesy of Financial Times

Hannah Mirsky, Music Beat Reporter

Rating: 8 / 10

Passenger began the year by releasing the thirteenth studio album “Songs for the Drunk and Broken Hearted,” a mellow, raw and trouble ridden storyline of characters all finding themselves in loneliness after a break-up. Mike Rosenberg showcases his poetic lyrics once again in the 10 track album, along with an acoustic versions to each song. The album isn’t too different from his other albums and amongst other artists, it might not stand out, yet the album presses feelings that many people bottle up after a break-up.

The beginning tracks “Sword from the Stone” and “Tip of my Tongue” tackles not having enough strength to detach himself completely from the relationship that ended. That in the time after, he continues to wonder about the small things in her life, the things that do not matter in retrospect, but in a bigger picture draw him back to her. That after all this time, he still cannot find the strength within him to pull the sword from the stone, or to say it easier, realize that they are over.

While the album starts so guilt ridden and sad, Rosenberg decides personal strength isn’t the only issue, that denial is another character hard to deal with. In the song “What you’re waiting for,” the man wishes so much for the girl he cannot get, he doesn’t recognize he does live a good life. Believing the girl would make his life better, he loses a part of his life in denial and waiting around.

As heart-broken as the man is, the girl he loves is having her own issues. The girl plays a character who doesn’t love herself, another reason why certain relationships sever. In one of the most beautiful songs on the album, “The Way That I Love You” is about the man telling the girl that if she loses herself, he will sing this song and remind her who she is.

Rosenberg ends the LP with the song “London in the Spring,” another beautiful track that believes they both deserve happiness even if they won’t be together. He reminisces on times that he walked through London during the spring and feeling happy that there are beautiful days to outweigh the painful ones. Spring in a bigger sense represents life and rebirth. Both the man and women can begin again, maybe not together but for themselves. The man finally realizes the life he has is a wonderful one.

Part of the reason Rosenberg’s albums do well towards his fanbase, is that he writes truthfully and from experience. The folk and guitar heavy albums give a sense of nostalgia and lost youth that the listeners relate to. The tracks to this album have been released slowly throughout 2020 and finally were compiled into a full LP this year. I do not see this album having commercial success or any radioplay the way that his hit “Let Her Go” had in 2013, but it was a strong album from Rosenberg. Stylistically not any different than the rest of his music and definitely tells the same sad stories of a broken-hearted man. Nevertheless it remains a solid album in Passenger’s discography.