“Passenger” (SINGLE) by Dan Rodriguez

Can you remember the last time you caught yourself deep in thought about what got you to this point in your life? Yeah, I know kind of a heavy question for a music review, but it’s something we all have to think about in some way or another. Certainly, Dan Rodriguez has and is with his newest single “Passenger”. In a jack of all trades move this track was produced, performed, written and Rodriguez acts as guitarist and bassist, and man, the guy really can do it all with ease.

Using more personal material as Rodriguez has lived a life that has him acting as a musician, family man, and father Rodriguez spins painfully honest and reliable lyrics like “Well I know this ain’t the first time, sure as hell ain’t the last, cuz he doesn’t know a night he wasn’t running from his past”. Just chilling if I’m being honest. It’s the kind of song that dives deep into the darkness and the more morally gray elements we all carry and extrapolates them in a way that’s wildly entertaining but when you listen to it late at night by yourself, it feels like a secret conversation you’re having with Rodriguez. Rodriguez should quickly be commended for his immediately charming vocal performance which by all means is a gut-wrenching affair as at points when the song quickly picks up early on, he’s literally begging for the unrelenting moments of life, personified

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by the devil but is, in turn, the choices that Rodriguez has made, to stop and let him off the ride. Rodriguez knows however that it’s these difficult moments that help define us and at the end of the day, we’re powerless to stop it, we just hope it isn’t painful with the closing lines “I just hope the whiskey settles in before he [the Devil] goes too far”. Rodriguez has stated that in life he really wants to always grow into a better person and it’s honestly refreshing that he’s honest about it being a process than just celebrating the empty platitudes of saying “I’ve grown, the end!”. It’s quietly fearless and it helps that it’s kind of earworm and I listened to it multiple times not just for this review. The man has an undeniable talent and I’m sure it’ll transfix more people on an even wider market, helped by the fact that he’s done plenty of commercial work for the NFL and the ESPN games back in 2018. Also worth noting is that this is the setup to an eventual EP of the same name coming soon alongside a music video. You can even hear an acoustic version of the song that feels like a true one-on-one performance for just you and it almost makes the song more heart-wrenching.

There’s really not much to critique other than it feels like one piece of a puzzle we’re starting to see formed. Rodriguez isn’t just wearing his heart on his sleeve, he’s basically got it tattooed on his chest.

Michael Rand

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