YOUNG AS THE MORNING OLD AS THE SEA - PASSENGER
LCM ALBUM OF THE WEEK
Release Date: 23rd September, 2016
Genre: Singer-Songwriter, Alt-Rock, Folk Rock
Location: Brighton, UK
Record Label: Black Crow Records
Young As The Morning Old As The Sea is the eighth studio album from Mike Rosenberg, a Brighton-born singer/songwriter better known as Passenger. A prolific achievement for an artist who only just turned 30 last year. Following up 2015's 'Whispers II', the album was recorded at a combination of Roundhead Studios in Auckland, a studio lovingly built from scratch by Neil Finn and at Linear studios in Sydney. The album sees Chris Vallejo and Mike teaming up to co-produce with the notable exception that this time the record was created in the room with an incredible band of musicians, Ben Edgar (guitar), Rob Clader (bass), Peter Marin (drums) and Jon Solo (keyboards) and with backing vocals from the Once (Geraldine Hollett, Phil Churchill & Andrew Dale) all gave their exceptional talents and voices to a totally different recording process. Special guests on the new album include the very talented young singer-songwriter Birdy. The deluxe edition of the album comes with additional acoustic versions of some of the songs and a 'making of' DVD. You can't help thinking if you listen closely to the lyrics that Mike is describing his thoughts about parts of the music industry and the struggle to continually try to write and record hit songs. I think this album has some of the best of Mike's music to date. It's also one you will have on repeat. Recommended.
The album starts with the very personal and reflective 'Everything', Love the slide guitar on this one. 'Nothing is ever something until you lose everything....until you have somebody to share it with.....love is everything'.
The album is full of very good songs and arrangements, which showcase wonderful Mike's talents and abilities, a case in point is 'If You Go' which has lovely string arrangements.
Still in reflective mood 'When We Were Young' about the passing of time and remembering our youth is another strong, catchy and thoughtful track. 'We used to never say never, used to think we'd live forever flying free beneath the sun. Days go running and hiding, weeks go slipping and sliding, years leave quicker every time they come.....remember when we were young'.
The very catchy 'Anywhere' with it's great electric guitar hooks has the feel of an almost classic Paul Simon song from 'Graceland'.
A song about the power of love 'Somebody's Love' with some beautiful lap steel and arrangements 'Go and get yourself lost like you always do. Sail into the blue with nobody next to you. Oh but when you wanna get yourself found, there may be nobody around....you'll sink without a sound you know it's true"
The opening riff of the album's reflective title track 'Young As The Morning Old As The Sea' really reminds us of Chaka Khan 'Ain't Nobody'. It's a ethereal and floating track. "I wanna be free as the winds that blow past me, clear as the air that I breathe, to be young as the morning and old as the sea......and I wanna be sunny and bright as the sunshine. Happy and full as the moon.......but I'm feeling like fireworks fading too soon."
One of my favourite tracks on the album is the wonderfully written and classy 'Beautiful Birds', a duet with young BRIT award nominated singer-songwriter Birdy. The underlying cello arrangement gives it a lovely meloncholy feel.
The tender guitar ballad 'The Long Road' is full of life experience "You've walked the long road and you've worn in well. You stitches yourself up when you fell and keep your memories i jars. Carry secrets and scars beneath your shell......you built friendships but they sailed without you. You never meant it and that's why they'd doubt you. Now they don't ever talk about you". The sage 'Fool's Good' a song about valuing the things that are most important in life. 'Fool's Gold never seems to keep it's shine'
The album closes with the beautifully written and meditative piano led ballad 'Home'.