When We Were Young by Passenger

Young as the Morning Old as the Sea by PassengerTrack: When We Were Young
Artist: Passenger
Genre: acoustic, indie, singer/songwriter
Music Rating: 9/10
Lyrics Rating: 10/10
Overall: 9/10
Sounds Like: Joshua Radin, The Lumineers, Paper Aeroplane
Interesting Fact: Adele does not get to corner the market on nostalgic romanticism in mourning the loss of youth.
Best thing about this track: He rhymes “vanish” with “Spanish”, and the song still has enough poetry and introspection to bring a grown man to tears. 😂
One thing I wish was different: The guitar is pretty great, but it’s Passenger, so the bar is stupidly high. It’s amazing, but I know Passenger could do better.
Website: Passenger

Well, I am still obsessed with this album, and with the new year beginning, it feels like an appropriate time for contemplation, reflection, introspection, and freaking out over fantastic music.

First of all, we cannot have a serious discussion about Passenger and not mention his modern take on classically-inspired guitar riffs. There. I mentioned it. It’s awesome. This track also features a gorgeous string section, a laid-back bass that is wholly foundational to the song, and of course, a healthy dose of masterfully layered rhythm guitar. Percussion also exists, but the stringed instruments dominate the foreground of this song’s identity.

Besides the flawlessly three-dimensional resonant audio portion of the track that has almost become old news for a Passenger track, why do I love this song? Well, it’s not because I’m an old spinster with an empty life full of regrets. 😉 I just love the wandering nature of the mind, and the poetry here seems to not only cross boundaries, but be completely unaware that they even exist.

This song is not a band-aid. It doesn’t really come to a resolution in the traditional sense of story-telling. It’s simply a small snapshot of human life and the human experience as one passes through time. Just existing without judgement. It’s not concerned about resolving issues or trying to “make it all better”. For that, I am profoundly grateful. Human emotions and life experience are not things to be fixed, but felt and honored.

Pondering without conclusion for a period of time is a powerful experience, but one that modern society seems to fear. We all scramble to become so certain of everything at all times. While foundation and an anchoring of the soul is good and necessary, we oftentimes short-change ourselves in our haste for what is essentially narrow-mindedness. Neither structure nor ambiguity are inherently evil, but either may become so without proper temperance.

It’s good to look forward, to the years to come. It’s good to remember “When We Were Young”. But most importantly, let’s learn, be inspired, and find joy in both. You are, today, the product of all of your yesterdays and tomorrows.

Read the full lyrics on Passenger’s website!


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