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Design By Humans
Published On: Fri, Jun 5th, 2015

Passenger: Whispers II

whispers iiPassenger
Whispers II
(Black Crow Records)

Buy it at Amazon!

After blowing up on the singer/songwriter scene following the success of his single, “Let It Go,” Passenger (né Mike Rosenberg) could have taken many steps to further his career. Last year’s Whispers proved that Rosenberg was not a flash in the pan as it peaked in the top twenty in many countries. Now, through his own record label, he has released Whispers II.

Don’t think of this as a sequel though. First of all, all profits go to UNICEF, so dropping $10 on the album is a worthwhile investment. Secondly, it’s a wonderful feat of artistry, with Rosenberg writing every song and co-producing the album. Third, the songs are simply too good to think of them as castoffs from the Whispers sessions.

Rosenberg’s talent as a songwriter lies in his storytelling. His songs on Whispers II tend to fall into two categories: those about relationships, and those about other people. In the former, “Catch in the Dark” is a Springsteen-tinged, melancholy portrait of the girl who always gets away. In the latter, “David” describes the struggles of a middle-aged man staying in a hostel who cannot get new work due to his alcohol abuse, while “Travelling Alone” describes a man and a woman both abandoned by their partners.

There are few upbeat spots on Whispers II, but Rosenberg has honed his craft by making quiet, everyday moments stand out. For me, it’s his finest work to date, and I hope he keeps going in this direction.

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Passenger: Whispers II