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"Passenger album review"

When I logged into Myspaz recently, expecting to scroll through the endless list of surveys, and the usual nonsense that accompanies the mass advertising machine, my eyes were drawn to a bulletin that read 'know anyone who does reviews for a publication or website?'
Curiosity got the better of me and I checked out the artist's profile. 'New Years Resolution' started to play and I found myself nodding my head, and tapping my foot to the beat.
I took a look at his influences... Deftones, P.O.S., Atmosphere, Tool, RATM, Radiohead... If I didn't know any better I could be reading my own profile. It was then that I became enthralled in the story of the song and started to pay attention to the lyrics as well as the beat, replaying the song over and over again. I have to admit, I'm hooked already. A story about a pretty young girl with a hard background, dragged into an endless line of wrong choices and bad influences, she cuts herself to deal with the pain. This is definately the stand out track on the album, not only does Passenger talk about a sensitive subject, but he also manages to convey the emotion with his delivery.

As the album goes on, it becomes quite clear that story telling is his main strength. With his clever word play he paints twelve different stories in forty six minutes. Each just as captivating as the other.

This is not an album for the club go-ers. It doesn't contain slamming beats or sing-a-longs that gain commercial success. When listening to 'The Brick In A Glass House' you will be inundated with intelligent lyrics and a sense of a true grind. The kind of thing I imagine people listening to on the bus on the way to work.

The so called "indie-rap" and/or "emo-rap" influences and diagnostics are clear and very apparent for all to hear. Normally I would refrain from such lazy comparisons but since Atmosphere have has such a predominant impact on alot of people's sound, the greatest compliment I can give Passenger is that he sounds remarkably like a young Sean Daley.

In todays market, hip hop is often labelled as destructive. Unable to shake the false pretenses and wrong impressions force fed down the consumers throat by MTV, the end result is a modern legend coming out and announcing that hip hop is dead. Hip hop is far from dead. It just lives in the underground. Away from all the prying eyes of billion dollar corporations that raped her of her pride. She is slowly regenerating and she's about to burst in the form of guys like Murs. Guys like P.O.S. and Brother Ali. They are about to bring a new meaning to hip hop. Will Passenger be a part of it? Only time will tell... But if 'The Brick In A Glass House' is anything to go by, his name could be at the forefront of hip hop very soon.

How could this guy have been on my friends list without me knowing it? From now on, I'm going to give every artist that sends a friend request atleast one listen.

-Gavin Connolly -


"The Brick In A Glass House" released May 2007



Passenger is an Austin, Tx based emcee with influences ranging from Jonah Matranga to Atmosphere; from Deftones to Sage Francis; from Mars Volta to Cunninlynguists; and everything in between. Born in Massachusetts, Passenger spent most of his younger days growing up in New York and Houston, Tx eventually moving to Austin, Tx in 1996 attending college to try his hand as a sound engineer. During these years, his musical versatility had him playing bass in an alternative rock band, singing in another side project, DJing house, jungle and hip hop music at various venues in Austin. Eventually he became a full time DJ for the reggae/ska/hiphop/punk band, Indofin, which he was a member for years touring the country. His love for hip hop provoked him to purchase an MPC and has been making beats and rhyming ever since.

"The Brick In A Glass House" is the debut album from Passenger. The album contains production from Nozebleed, Lazerbeak (Doomtree), amongst others as well as his own. Currently, you can find him playing shows around the Austin area and surrounding cities sharing the stage with national touring artists. He is also working on putting together a live band to back him at shows and working on new material for a follow up album.