“Volume 1” by David Bazan & The Passenger String Quartet

on August 31, 2014

Volume-1 I change my mind about this album as much as it changes my mood. Between the violin of the string quartet and David Bazan’s Armstrong-esque rasp, the sound can bring you down if you are feeling high or pick you up if you are feeling low. Walking through Laurelhurst park listening to it for the first time, the bow of its instrumentals rocked my mind between a space of eerie self-reflection that seemed too dangerous for the level of exposure in a public park and optimistic excitement of dominating any badminton match—from measure to measure. This review would really be a coin flip.

The power of string instruments over the human psyche is undeniable. In the first listen, the movements in the songs were engrossing and entrapping. At first. By the end of the album and in the second listen, I was bored by the lack of diversity—my biggest critique of the album. Bazan’s lyrics and voice were profound, satirical, and often hopeful in the emergence of an autumn season—symbolic of the beginning of loss. Letting it sit for a day and going back to it was all that was required to rejuviante its intrigue. I keep going back to it, and I still experience a swing that’s as great as a toss up. It can be good and bad at anytime. »

– Billy Dye

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