• 1.
  • 2.
  • 3.
    Late Night Drama Queen
  • 4.
    Fire and Dynamite
  • 5.
    Love Is Magic
  • 6.
    Lonely Anna
  • 7.
    Heartache Heartbreak
  • 8.
    Fly Home in the Morning
  • 9.
    Rhythm of the Clock
  • 10.
    The Wire


Since releasing his debut album Washed in Blue in 2005, Drew Holcomb has relocated from Memphis, TN, to Nashville, TN, gotten married (to the former Ellie Bannister, now Ellie Holcomb), and put together a backup band, the Neighbors, consisting of guitarist Nathan Dugger, bassist Rich Brinsfield, and drummer Jon Radford. The result of this settling down can be heard in the songs he wrote for Passenger Seat, a combination of stories and personal exhortations. Whether he is singing about people named "Jamie" or "Lonely Anna" or addressing "you," he has a consistent message to convey, "Love Is Magic." With Ellie Holcomb singing along on harmony vocals, he celebrates the joys of love, joys that are all the more satisfying because of the occasional accounts of what life is like without it, such as in the lead-off track, "Jamie," about a drug addict, and "Heartache Heartbreak," about a couple that has broken up. (Holcomb is careful to make clear that it is a couple he is observing, not one of which he is a member.) If such matters can be devastating, it is because, as he sings in the key line in "Love Is Magic," the line that gave the album its title, "We all just want someone to ride in the passenger seat." (That's actually a curious metaphor in America in the 21st century, of course, since it implies subservience. These days, one might do better to look for someone to share the driving.) Holcomb expresses these sentiments in a husky, sonorous tenor over folk-rock arrangements that find Dugger occasionally switching to mandolin or keyboards. It's an extremely familiar sound that makes it easier to swallow the positive, if unexceptional statements in the lyrics. ~ William Ruhlmann, Rovi

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