The Student Voice of Fordham Lincoln Center

The Observer

The Student Voice of Fordham Lincoln Center

The Observer

The Student Voice of Fordham Lincoln Center

The Observer


Unforgettable Notes from Maggie Rogers’ Newest Album

While many artists go country, Maggie Rogers continues her alternative-folk journey on ‘Don’t Forget Me’
Maggie Rogers’ third studio album chronicles lost loves and hopeful futures in 10 folk-rock tracks.

The echo of a laugh, the creak of a piano bench and the anecdotal voicemails played in the background of tracks are souvenirs sprinkled throughout Maggie Rogers’ latest studio release, “Don’t Forget Me.” Launched on April 10, Maggie Rogers’ third album splices together tales of romantic loss, remembrance and longing in a 10-track “defining decade” bildungsroman for the singer-songwriter.  

The album, which Rogers shared she wrote  in five days, is inspired both by memories, friends and pure creative energy. Each track induces the reclaimed vintage soundtrack she imagined in her fan newsletter, that listeners can subscribe to on her website. 

The tracks on “Don’t Forget Me” reminded me why I stayed up past 2 a.m. in high school listening to “Fallingwater” on repeat; it was to have time to jump around my room with all of the lights off and my headphones in, gushing out Rogers’ prescient freedom. That is to say, Rogers’ voice is stronger and more assured than ever, especially on standout tracks such as “So Sick of Dreaming,” “If Now Was Then,” “I Still Do” and the title track, “Don’t Forget Me.”

Despite one of the tracks on the album named “Never Going Home,”Rogers wrote in an Instagram post expressing gratitude for her career after the album’s release that “Don’t Forget Me” “feels like coming home.” The artist hails from Easton, Maryland and pursued music at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts — she is widely recognized for her song “Alaska” when Pharell visited her music production class and had no criticisms for the track. 

With echoes of her debut album, “Heard It In a Past Life,” this sentiment rings out. For instance, on “If Now Was Then” when Rogers sings the pre-chorus, “And I know you find it funny, ooh,” her tones in the song resemble Rogers’ debut single “Alaska;” the themes of shedding a new self mirror one another in both songs. Rogers is returning home by leaning into the rustic sounds she began to develop in her first single.  

Equally evocative of Carole King’s “Tapestry” and Fleetwood Mac’s “Tango in the Night” is the second single from her album, “So Sick of Dreaming.” The song is enveloped in tambourine, subtle acoustic strums and incessant reverb that speak of breaking apart while making oneself whole. 

If anyone can produce a raw set of 10 songs that feel like being a 20-something woman in that time, it’s Rogers.

“So you think you’re on the right track/Cruising on the bridge in your gray Cadillac/You think it’s easy/Walking on the water like there’s steppin’ stones.” These holier-than-thou allusions could have to do with her master’s in religion and public life from Harvard Divinity School, or a soul-searching nature that she embraces on the album as a woman entering a new decade of life.  

The album shows Rogers’ range, with some tracks portraying a sense of loss and a slow melody while others, such as “The Kill” featuring quick strumming and riffs layered in the background that tickle the subconscious. In an Instagram post Rogers wrote, “The truths about my life came from my deepest intuition. Things I wasn’t ready to say out loud to myself, but they found a place in the music.” Rogers weaves parallel narratives throughout “The Kill,” by switching out the pronouns and trading out “you were going in for the kill” for “I was going in for the kill,” and finally ending with, “we were going in for the kill.” This full admittance to fault in every dimension of a relationship, and even within the self, proves Rogers’ awareness and the power of her creativity — even if it is not something of which she is fully conscious.

It’s obvious that Rogers is still finding a definitive sound on “Don’t Forget Me.” Although her voice is uniquely gravelly and well outside comparison, the same cannot be said for her writing techniques. Structurally, many of the tracks lack individuality unless the song is a complete break from roiling electric reverb and echoey endings. 

Two songs that are pointedly different from the rest are the piano ballad, “I Still Do” and the peeled-back “All The Same.” Both songs are mellow recollections of patterns that Rogers has noticed throughout her life, piano scatters through startling realizations and desperate grasps for understanding why time moves on after big emotions and big loves leave us. 

These melancholy nuggets are hugs from Rogers to herself, reassurances and lessons embedded in raw vocals droning on about all she’s learned about love. If this album were a movie soundtrack, these songs would lead the protagonist through a montage scene of moving away, or driving down a highway with the window open and the remnants of tears running down her cheeks.

There are merits and setbacks to writing an album in five days, but if anyone can produce a raw set of 10 songs that feel like being a 20-something woman in that time, it’s Rogers. Despite some singularities in the structuring and moods of each tune, Rogers accomplishes what she set out to convey with “Don’t Forget Me.” Her paradoxical belt tinged with nonchalance implies to listeners that her journey through remembrance is both urgent and trivial — mostly because she seems to be her own prophet with the way the words spill out of her.

Rogers will begin her first arena tour for “Don’t Forget Me” on May 23 in San Diego and will play at Madison Square Garden on Oct. 19.

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About the Contributor
AVERY LOFTIS, Editor-in-Chief
Avery Loftis (she/her), FCLC 25, is the editor-in-chief at The Observer. She is a journalism major and English minor. When she is not obsessing over a sentence, she is likely reporting for WFUV News or making playlists. She was previously an arts and culture editor.

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