Music Editor Isabelle Porter reviews Maggie Rogers’s new album, praising its earnest lyricism and breezy production

Written by Isabelle Porter
Music Editor

Maggie Rogers wrote her new album, Don’t Forget Me, with collaborator Ian Fitchuk over five days. In such a brief period of production as she crafted this album in, other writers might have come up with a tangle of half-starts, or worse, come up empty. However, with Don’t Forget Me, Rogers has proven that she is not ‘other writers.’

The album’s ten songs ruminate on the unmoored nature of young adulthood. Opening track ‘It Was Coming All Along’ captures a variegated feeling of apprehension that arises from watching the television or hearing murmurs about your childhood home being sold. Across the work, Rogers further encounters the loneliness of growing pains both intra- and interpersonal. She reflects upon friends’ imminent weddings and their toleration of lukewarm relationships, giving a jokey retelling of being stood up on a date for a Knicks game.

The album’s ten songs ruminate on the unmoored nature of young adulthood

Rogers’s lyrics carry the weight of well-worn worries in simple epiphanies. ‘Smooth out the lines on my face / And think about where I’m gonna go’ Rogers sings at the beginning of ‘Never Going Home’, a train of thought in which she considers both her plans for tonight and her plans for her life. ‘I can’t behave, but I don’t want to be alone, but / You kept me waiting, now I’m never, ever going home’, she confesses on the song’s chorus, her voice breaking slightly upon its repetition.

On the cover of her 2022 album, Surrender, Rogers met listeners with a clear-eyed and direct gaze, matching the essence of crisp indie-pop numbers like ‘That’s Where I Am’ and ‘Want Want’. In comparison, the cover of her new record, Don’t Forget Me, catches the American singer-songwriter off-guard, emerging from a dark background in a swath of blond light. The filmic candid gestures to the relaxed atmosphere of Rogers’s newest effort. Sonically, Don’t Forget Me abandons the electronic-edged vocal splicing of Surrender, embracing a comfortable, live instrument-based production style. She invokes the rocking lilt of Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Dreams’ on the album’s (fittingly titled) second single, ‘So Sick Of Dreaming’.

Rogers’s lyrics carry the weight of well-worn worries in simple epiphanies

In a press release letter for the album, Rogers stated that she wanted the album to sound ‘[v]intage, but not overly Americana’. The effect, evident on ‘So Sick Of Dreaming’ and another album highlight, ‘On & On & On’, are songs that sound like you have heard them your whole life upon a first listen. Another example of the album’s stunning production (as well as Rogers’s lyrical and vocal talents) can be found on ‘All The Same’, a guitar ballad that melds with flickers of piano. Rogers’s voice on the track is sirenic, spilling out over the notes in a Weyes Blood-esque manner.

The titular closing track, which Rogers released as the album’s first single, encapsulates its vulnerability and rolls out like the end credits on a film. The album ends, and the album’s promotion began, with Rogers reaching out on a shimmering layered vocal for ‘[a] good lover or someone who’s nice to me’. Neither overthought nor overwrought, Don’t Forget Me lends listeners refreshing moments of earnestness. On this new record, Rogers flexes the prolific nature of her creativity.

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