Review: Maggie Rogers – Don’t Forget Me


Maggie Rogers
Don’t Forget Me
Capitol Records
Street: 04.12
Maggie Rogers  = MUNA x HAIM

Even though Maggie Rogers was discovered by artist Pharell in 2016 at New York University in 2016, in her 8 years since in the music industry: she’s made a name for herself. Her inimitable brand of emotionally hyper-fixated indie pop has been a constant in that time. 

But it’s her new and third album, “Don’t Forget Me”  that really solidifies her well-known strong suit: her creativity through lyrical play and production. 

With 10 tracks clocking in at 36 minutes, the album has a  little bit of everything. Most notably, it’s bracketed by her piercing vocals, masterful songwriting and her empathy. Rogers is a dreamer, first and foremost, and that is clear in her ear-worm-esque songwriting skills. (Rogers is credited as a writer on every single track of the album — and the sole writer on two tracks “If Now Was Then” a Cranberries-reminiscent ballad  and “I Still Do” a slower, piano track. ) 

The tone for the album is set perfectly in its opening track “It Was Coming All Along” where Rogers sounds like she’s becoming more sure of herself, even if the lyrics question that notion a little. “Feel like I’m breaking through / my world’s a honey shade of blue / i’m crying, wish I wasn’t hanging on / but it was coming all along.” 

That album tone is one that examines the patent existentialism one goes through during their 20s and 30s, through a pop-colored lenses. Think of shades of blue and warm yellow despite the darkness of the cover. Roger’s honey-infused voice is the perfect tour guide through an album she told the Associated Press that she wanted to be a “Sunday driving record.” 

“Don’t Forget Me” also showcases her experimentation with the cadence, tone and melodies of indie pop. Going from the opening track to the best on the album, “Drunk” an edgier, adrenaline soaked song showcases this. Her vocals take on a rough, raw edge. 

Other songs like “The Kill” , another standout, showcase her songwriting ability. The chorus is addictive, sandwiched between the first verse which addresses the male in the relationship, and the second which turns the introspection back in Rogers. The bridge is a portrait of indecision and unsureness, a skillful capture of the going back and forth in a relationship that is on its last legs. 

Even the slower tracks on the album, like “So Sick of Dreaming” which has a playful conversation about a date and Knicks tickets land hard. “On & On & On” has more of a bite to it, ending with a deadpan, “Yeah you better run.” 

The album namesake and closer “Don’t Forget Me” ends the album on a bittersweet note. It acknowledges the bitter side of growing up, and watching those around you landing on their feet and figuring everything out, while you feel stuck. It’s an acknowledgement as much as it’s a plea. 

“Don’t Forget Me” feels like the eternal heat of summer sunshine, with self-aware wildflowers popping up in the fields below it. It’s an ode to figuring it all out and self-awareness and the twists and turns that journey takes. 

It’s Rogers, showing her music is just as it’s always been, infused with her persona: optimistic, self-aware, realistic and intuitive and perhaps most of all: wishful. –Palak Jayswal

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