London (dpa) – “How are you doing, darling? How are you getting on? ” Those are the first words Mike said <!––> Rosenberg aka Passenger sings on his new album. “How are you? How’s it going? », These are the questions people ask themselves more often in these unusual times when friends and family can only be seen on video calls.
But Passengers “Songs for the Drunk and Broken Hearted” is not an album about the Corona crisis. And Mike Rosenberg even gave the German Press Agency a face-to-face interview in London. With the necessary safety margin, of course.
“The classic, I had a breakup and then wrote songs,” says the singer and songwriter about the motif of his 13th studio album, the twelfth as a solo artist. “All of a sudden you are alone out there in the world, you are vulnerable and that scares you. And like so many people, I probably drank too much afterwards and made some stupid decisions. ”
After all, it ended up being a good album. The ten new songs in the typical passenger sound are melancholic and at the same time positive, even encouraging. “I almost felt as if I was writing a self-help guide to help master this time,” says Mike with a smile. “I make a lot of jokes about all my songs being sad, but that’s not true. Usually there are a lot of positive things about Passenger. ”
As usual, he takes it easy in terms of sound and dispenses with any major production fuss. There are certainly surprising moments. The guitar sound of “Remember To Forget” is reminiscent of the style of ex-Beatle George Harrison.
The cool trumpet finale of “Sandstorm” is reminiscent of the western soundtracks of the great Ennio Morricone. «Yes, definitely», confirms Rosenberg and mentions the US band Calexico as further inspiration. «I hope that this is exactly the mood that comes across. And it gives the album a different touch. ” The number is one of the best on the new record.
Other highlights include “Sword From The Stone”, “What Are You Waiting For” and “London In The Spring”, a declaration of love for the British capital. “I’ve lived only an hour away from London all my life,” says the fan of the London football club Arsenal, who was born in Brighton and still lives in the coastal city. «I come here (to London) to work. I have friends here. It’s my second home. ”
His passion to continue performing as a street musician despite his success and sold out concert halls also leads Passenger to London again and again. “The city is great,” enthuses the down-to-earth musician. “But there is an undertone, because it is also a very unjust city. There are the very rich and the very poor, and then there is now Brexit and all that. ” His ode to the city is therefore “not only as sweet as it sounds”, but also has something uncomfortable about it.
As always, the songs are carried by Mike Rosenberg’s distinctive and unusual vocals, which sound completely different from his voice when he speaks. “People either love it or they don’t like it at all. I know that not everyone likes my voice, ”he says. “I once went to a singing teacher who said I was doing everything wrong. So I thought: Fuck it. ”
By the way: Even if the Corona crisis is not the subject of the album, it still had an impact on the selection of songs. Passenger actually wanted to release the “Songs for the Drunk and Broken Hearted” last May. Then came Corona. “I wrote three new songs during the lockdown,” says Mike. “I think artists produce their best work in uncomfortable times. And it doesn’t get much more uncomfortable than in lockdown. ”
© dpa-infocom, dpa: 210108-99-943830 / 3