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Released: 2017

“Losing My Religion (Cover)” by Passenger, originally an R.E.M. classic, is a deeply introspective track. It teeters on the edge of self-awareness and unrequited love, wrapped up in religious metaphors and a swirl of internal dialogue. Passenger’s take on it stays true to this narrative, adding his distinct folksy touch to it.

The song kicks off with the artist acknowledging the magnitude of life, highlighting that it’s ‘bigger’ than the individual. Here, the singer underscores the idea that we are just small parts of a vast universe, a concept that can trigger feelings of insignificance and fear.

He then speaks of ‘The lengths that I will go to,’ hinting at mental or physical extremes one might reach for someone else, physically illustrated by ‘The distance in your eyes.’ However, this effort generates a sense of regret, suggested by ‘Oh no, I’ve said too much, I set it up.’

‘That’s me in the corner, That’s me in the spotlight, Losing my religion,’ are visually striking lines. The reference to ‘the corner’ brings to mind a perception of isolation and introspection, while ‘the spotlight’ suggests scrutiny or attention. ‘Losing my religion’ is a southern American colloquialism for reaching your breaking point, not an abandoning of faith as it might initially seem.

Fast forward to ‘Consider this, the tip of the century, Consider this, the slip, That brought me to my knees.’ Here the artist seems to acknowledge his mistakes, invoking the image of a slip that brought him figuratively to his knees, in a humbling or regretful sense.

The repetitive refrain of ‘I thought that I heard you laughing…’ insinuates a longing for connection, for understanding. Meanwhile, the repeated lyric ‘But that was just a dream…’ could suggest the singer’s desires remain unfulfilled, their hopes merely illusions.

Finally, the lines ‘Why do you try, That was just a dream,’ perhaps suggest an element of self-deprecation, an acceptance of a lost cause. The repeated ‘just a dream’ anchors the sentiment that the perceptions and hopes the artist held were mere figments of imagination, not rooted in reality.

Passenger’s rendition of “Losing My Religion” maintains the existential dread and longing of the original, while his unique vocal and instrumental arrangement lend a fresh pathos to these timeless sentiments.

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