Review: Lisa Hannigan – Passenger

Last Monday the wonderful Lisa Hannigan released her second solo album entitled Passenger.

Since flying the Damien Rice shaped nest in 2007 to pursue her solo career, Irish singer-songwriter Lisa Hannigan has truly managed to spread her wings and make a name for herself, impressing musicians and critics alike. Her first solo album, Sea Sew, was released in 2008 and gained her some much deserved attention; initially in Ireland then from across the pond. Then the UK finally caught up, particularly after playing on Jools Holland, and the album was also nominated for the Mercury music prize. As well as impressing everyone with her first album (which she hand stitched the album artwork) she’s also collaborated with the likes of Paul Noonan, Herbie Hancock, The Cake Sale and Jason Mraz – she really is the perfect female accompaniment for any male performer, her honey smooth vocals adding instant depth and heart to any song.

Her new album Passenger sees the return of Hannigan’s wonderful song writing style, although there is definitely a more land and journey theme to this album, in contrast to the more sea-based themes in Sea Sew. This album also shows a maturing in Hannigan’s style, with richer melodies and an over all more self assured sound as if she’s come into her own much more on this record. The album opens with the song Home, which sets the tone with her beautiful lyrics, drawing you into the storybook of an album with Hannigan’s relatable tales. The title track of the album, Passenger, truly embodies the spirit of journey that runs throughout the record; in this song she tells the tale of American travels set to the ‘plinky-plonky’ tones of the mandolin (I would suggest if you have time checking out the live version of this song on YouTube).

Hannigan puts to use her magic duet skills on the track O Sleep, collaborating with Ray LaMontagne, creating a delightful lullaby with her stunning voice and his dulcet tones complimenting each other perfectly. Whilst a personal favourite Safe Travels, (Don’t Die), proves that eloquence can make beautiful music out of the most basic feelings.

Passenger is definitely a keeper and proof that Hannigan is more than just a pretty voice, and that her talent is hopefully here to stay.

Robyn Lawrence