Passenger ‘When We Were Young’ Song Review

Yes you’re reading this right, there is yet another song out there called ‘When We Were Young’, Adele and The Killers eat your heart out. So onto the subject at hand here, Passenger are back with this brand new single/record/whatever you want to call it. Now I’ve liked Passenger in the past in the most sporadic of senses. They’re a great folk band or rather, he’s a great folk band… Wait that doesn’t sound right, he’s a great fol musician (damn stage names messing me around). He’s nothing I’d directly look for or want to listen to, but he does often surprise me and entertain me when he comes on the radio or in the background. I have found a lot of his efforts a little boring though; often too minimalist. He performs at his beat when he has a great huge, rustic band around him. But anyways how did he do this time around…

Well it’s alright, nothing special in my opinion. A couple of simple chords and a basic melody; I’m not asking for a technical explosion, but this one did feel a bit dire. For me it was just lacking content, lacking flair, lacking that little bit of spice. Now it’s certainly not a bad song, it’s a fairly decent one, but for me I’m left pining for more. I just think that folk as a genre is regrowing once again with great musicianship, and this track doesn’t really capitalise upon that.

Production wise the song is pretty good, I don’t really have any qualms here. The acoustic guitar sounds great and organic, the vocals sound crisp and clear and the rest of the instrumentation does manage to create that very country-esque atmosphere. Like I said, don’t really have any flaws here that I feel I need to point out.

Musicality is where the thing kind of falls down… It’s just a little, well, boring in all honesty. The sections never really change and the dynamics never really alter; it’s just kind of static to me. It’s over reliant on this four chord structure and I just find that a little bland in all honesty. When you have acts such as City and Colour and Frank Turner out there, who use four chords so brilliantly and so differently, I find it hard to give Passenger much credit for this bland approach. His vocal melodies are also a little bit subdued and boring; there isn’t one catchy hook or melody introduced here and to me that’s a little dull. Oh and before I forget, where is the bridge ma’ dude…

Lyrically the song covers a theme which has been explored a thousand times by now, and to be honest, this exploration isn’t particularly thought provoking or inspiring. For me I just need to connect a little more, and I need to hear more personal stories for me to really take this songs message seriously.

All in all then the track is just okay. It hasn’t got any glaring faults that annoy me or frustrate me, but rather the track just suffers from being a little unimaginative.

5/10 – I guess it could be worse, it could be another cover of No Diggity….


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