The beloved indie-folk artist Mike Rosenberg or more commonly known as Passenger – starts the year 2021 off with the release of his 13th studio album. Recovering from a recently broken heart and the despair following it, Songs for the Drunk and Broken Hearted is an appropriate title for a record that displays the raw realities of a breakup. With the album being originally intended for a release in early 2020, it’s not the ideal cheerful album for the beginning of a new year, but rather one that follows a fitting theme for current times. That said, Rosenberg stays true himself when it comes to his soulful and poetic songs, of which are perfect for solace during hard times.
From beginning to end, Rosenberg continues to produce his unique yet recognizable tracks that we have come to know and love. He offers a collection of melancholy and thoughtful songs that can be related to now and again. ‘Sword from the Stone’ the opening track and single of the record, sets the tone of what’s to come.
Instantly kicking off on a forceful yet sorrowful note, Rosenberg belts out about the inability to move on from his most recent relationship. It is direct and touching while flawlessly capturing the essence of someone being taken and disappearing from your life. And on that premise, Rosenberg allows us to delve deeper into our emotions that we face daily with his thought out and precisely written single.
On the other hand, ‘The Way That I Love You’ embodies intimacy, being a tune that concentrates on wishing somebody could love themselves as much as they are loved by others. This song differs from the rest of the album as it is much more romantic with its soft acoustic guitar riffs and tender melodies. Rosenberg’s other tracks on the record are rather discouraging – making this song particularly stand out for its sentimental value and dreamy lyricism.
The song ‘Sandstrom’ is the longest track on the album running over 5 minutes, allowing Rosenberg to explore the idea of himself struggling to accept that he may be the problem in his unsuccessful relationships. By acknowledging that he is the sandstorm, with his significant other being the sand, Rosenberg feels as though he is the chaos in her life, which can be hard to digest. The song creates a vivid listening experience by captivating his listeners with the presence of drums, strings and horns that fit seamlessly into the melody.
Thus, Rosenberg, uses his personal experiences with loneliness to create Songs for the Drunk and Broken Hearted. His album consists of a large number of relatable issues, but still sheds light on optimism and being hopeful during the present times: making this his most intimate and mature album to date.