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Passenger

4.5 out of 5 stars 36 customer reviews

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Audio CD, September 16, 2011
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Editorial Reviews

Lisa Hannigan follows her acclaimed 2009 debut Sea Sew with Passenger, out September 20th on ATO Records. Lisa's first solo outing garnered critical praise from NPR's 'All Things
Considered', The San Francisco Chronicle, The New York Daily News and The Los Angeles Times, in addition to earning her performances on 'The Tonight Show with Jay Leno' and 'The Colbert Report' as well as a Mercury Prize nomination.

Passenger finds Hannigan further developing her signature vocal sound and songwriting. Recorded over a week at Brynderwyn Studios in North Wales by Grammy-winning producer Joe Henry (Solomon Burke, Allen Toussaint, Ramblin' Jack Elliot) and engineer Ryan Freeland (Ray LaMontagne), Passenger includes 10 sparkling new songs including the gorgeous 'O Sleep' on which she shares vocal duties with Ray LaMontagne.

In addition to her solo work Hannigan sang with Damien Rice for seven years, touring the world and playing sell-out shows at Radio City Music Hall and the Greek Theatre. She contributed significantly to Rice's platinum-selling debut O and critically
lauded follow-up 9. She also sang with the legendary Herbie Hancock on a rendition of Bob Dylan's 'The Times They Are A-Changin' for his Imagine Project.

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Home
  2. A Sail
  3. Knots
  4. What'll I Do
  5. O Sleep
  6. Paper House
  7. Little Bird
  8. Passenger
  9. Safe Travels (Don't Die)
  10. Nowhere to Go


Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 16, 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: ATO Records
  • ASIN: B005DKGO1Q
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #88,632 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Unlike other reviewers I have never listened to Lisa's debut album so I listened to Passengers without preconceptions. My overall opinion is that while the underlying songwriting and vocals is a superior four star effort Lisa's talents are ill-served on some songs by rampant overproduction. The truth is that Lisa is best when it's just Lisa (and sometime John Smith); the production frequently hides Lisa rather than enhances her. One of the few exemptions is "Knots" which works equally as well on the album as in her acoustic version. On the other hand, the splendid "Little Bird" is performed on the album with a much faster tempo than her acoustic version making the song feel rushed and even pushy rather than sensitive and quiet. When you find the acoustic version of the songs from Passenger on Youtube it creates an image of what this album could have been but was not. In fact, if you want to listen for the differences yourself you can open two windows on your computer and listen to each version of the song on top of the other. It's revealing.

I listened to an interview Lisa gave this past summer. The talking head asked Lisa how she chose her current label. Lisa appeared surprised by the question and said she didn't know, basically she just trusted what her manager said. I think there might be an element of that same naivety in her relationship with this album and its production. When Lisa is in control of the artistic process (like her performance at NPR) she achieves a deeper level of authenticity which makes her music more heartfelt and passionate. That sensibility is missing from much of this album, sadly.
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
Lisa Hannigan, from the minute I heard her in the Volcano video with Damien Rice, I fell in love with her voice. Her voice has gotten stronger and more beautiful during her solo career. Passenger is a lovely album.

Passenger is her second solo album. It isn't as sensuous as her first album, Sea Sew (Sea Sew), but there are some songs about longing. From a recent NPR interview, Lisa claims to have recorded this album in one week, an incredibly fast time. They also didn't do a lot of multitrack building where one musician lays down part of the song, and then another plays over a playback. Instead they recorded this more as a full band playing in a room. This is a great way to get more energy and live aspect to an album. Mostly, I think they succeeded.

The Volcano video is legendary to me. It is the first time I've heard a voice sound like another instrument in the band. The song is simple, Damien Rice on acoustic guitar accompanied by a cello. Lisa Hannigan starts singing about a quarter into the song, and her voice blends so perfectly with the cello. She has a wonderful innocent sound in her voice making a great contrast to Rice yelling that the girl he loves is too young.

Hannigan is showing more of her Irish heritage in this album. The beautiful Irish accent appears a bit more often with her rolled r's. Her voice is so beautiful.

O Sleep is simply beautiful. Ray LaMontagne sings along with Hannigan. They have a much better chemistry and harmony than with Rice. LaMontagne lets Hannigan lead, he fits in with her voice. Rice always drove the song his direction and hoped that Hannigan would follow. O Sleep is so satisfying to hear her on equal footing with her male singing partner.
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
This album is as much melancholy as it is uplifting with many past experiences making their way into the songs which make up this sophomore album. I had the opportunity to watch her accompany Glen Hansard in Frankfurt, Germany in the fall of 2012 and I swear I seemed to be the only person solely there to hear her perform.
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I first noticed Lisa Hannigan's lilting and haunting voice in the soundtrack of a movie about a mermaid. The song was entitled "Braille," and is still not found on any album. But this album brings her charm and slightly otherworld voice into your room. A very interesting and enjoyable album.
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Lisa Hannigan's follow-up to her first album, Sea Sew, takes on a new feel. Sea Sew was very upbeat and the songs varied in speed and tempos. Passenger keeps a steadier pace and the melodies are more mellow. Much like Sea Sew, the catchier and quicker songs are on the first half of the album and the last half is slower and quieter.

The album starts off with a track called Home that has a Coldplay feel to it, piano included. This could be a very radio-friendly song, but it still has many of Hannigan's little quirks in it with unique notes and instruments.
Track 2 is A Sail which starts off with Hannigan singing monotonously. The chorus is the best part of the song if you ask me. It's more dynamic than the other parts of the song and sounds just like what I think of when I think Lisa Hannigan.
The next track, Knots, is the first single of the album. I definitely recommend seeing the video to it- she's covered in paint by the end and it's very entertaining to watch. The song is sweet and very fun to listen to. It makes you want to dance around and some of the lyrics "I tied the knots to remember in my heart" remind me of Ocean and a Rock from Sea Sew.
Track 4 is What'll I Do which is my early favorite on the album. The feel of it is different than some of Hannigan's previous music, but it's a great different. It's a fun song and the "oh oh oh oh eh eh ah ah ah eh eh" parts are really fun to sing along to and remind me very much of Venn Diagram from Sea Sew.
Track 5 is another early favorite, O Sleep, featuring Ray LaMontagne. His voice goes well with Hannigan's and is a little reminiscent of Hannigan's pairing with Damien Rice. The song is mellow and it shows off Hannigan's range well. She has her signature lower notes in the song as well as some soprano notes.
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