Editor’s Review: Passenger

One of the biggest names in modern folk-rock, Passenger, released his 14th album, “Songs for the Drunk and Broken Hearted,” on Jan. 8. 

Passenger is most famous for his 2012 song “Let Her Go,” which topped the charts in 14 countries and now has more than 1.2 billion streams on Spotify. He is still riding this song’s success and continues to release consistently high-quality folk music. Passenger has experimented with different styles of music from acoustic singer-songwriter to indie rock and now falls somewhere in the middle of the two. This new album shows this unique style he has evolved into clearly. 

Before this album, Passenger’s most recent project was a short, eight-song album “Patchwork,” released in July 2020. This work was written and recorded in lock down and comments on the situation in the middle of the first lockdown in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Leading up to Passenger’s 14th album “Songs for the Drunk and Broken Hearted,” Passenger released five of the 10 songs as singles through 2020. He first released, “The Way That I Love You” on March 20. This song has a similar sound and style to his most successful song “Let Her Go” and now has more than 11 million streams on Spotify. Passenger then released “London in the Spring” on May 1, the title track for the album “Songs for the Drunk and Broken Hearted” on October 23rd, “Suzanne” on Nov. 13, and finally “Remember to Forget” on Dec. 11. The full album features five more songs and includes acoustic versions of every song. 

This album exemplifies what Passenger’s sound has turned into over the past years. He has always been an acoustic, guitar-based singer-songwriter, and this has stayed consistent throughout his whole career. However, some of these originally acoustic songs turn into folk or indie-rock songs through production. This combination explains what Passenger’s unique sound has become and is evident in this new album. Including the acoustic versions gives fans the chance to hear what the songs sounded like originally.  

The album features both very calming and exciting songs and includes heartfelt, vulnerable and fun, upbeat songs as well. This well-rounded, beautifully exciting and brutally honest album captivates listeners and causes them to feel the same feelings as well as relate the songs to their own experiences. 

“Songs for the Drunk and Broken Hearted” has already gained great success and even reached No. 2 in the UK within the first week of its release. Although it did not reach No. 1, it is no doubt one of Passenger’s best works and has been long anticipated. This new album is the biggest testament to the evolution of Passenger’s sound over the years as well as the sound of modern folk music. You can listen to “Songs for the Drunk and Broken Hearted” on all streaming and music platforms. 

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