“Passenger” is Lisa Hannigan’s second album, following her award-winning 2008 debut, “Sea Sew.” Here she continues to establish herself as one of the most popular folk singer/songwriters of her generation, up there with Glen Hansard and Ray LaMontagne (featured on the album). At one time most would have recognized Hannigan as part of Damien Rice’s band. With this album she is carving her own path.
“Passenger” is a collection of songs that for the most part are about journeys – metaphorical or literal, and all written on tour. Hannigan shows off her excellent lyrical ability as well as her vocal talent in each track, accompanied by a range of instruments. This album is well worth a listen.
Track one, “Home,” could signify the start of a journey – literally speaking, a tour – but there is always more to Hannigan’s lyrics. It can be hard to decipher what the other meaning is, but its presence gives her songs depth and substance.
The next notable track, “Knots,” is a real foot-stomper. It shows off all of Hannigan’s vocal quality along with superb instrumentation, including violins, brass, double bass, snare and bass drums, and piano. “O Sleep,” a duet with Ray LaMontagne, is a beautifully soft track, and the two singers complement each other perfectly. They begin with just a slight guitar accompaniment, and during this almost lullaby-like song, more instruments are added but the tenderness of the track is never lost.
Another song worth listening to is “Safe Travels.” The lyrics are particularly biting and include a series of warnings, as if Hannigan is afraid of something happening to a loved one.
This great album is another fine example of the talent Ireland has to offer. Hannigan is starting to make a name for herself on an international scale and get the recognition she deserves.