Maggie Rogers' debut lacks ingenuity but makes up in vulnerability

Courtesy Capitol Records

Maggie Rogers stormed on to the scene in 2016 with her song “Alaska,” that floored even Pharrell. But now, three years after the fact, Rogers debut album has officially hit stands, and everyone wants to know if it lives up to the original hype.

With tours and festival dates scheduled, and her three million Spotify followers backing her, Rogers has always had support for her music. With just an EP for years, she still was scheduled for tv performances and other gigs. Hyped up by artists like Bastille, Rogers debut album was one of the most anticipated of 2019.

“Heard It In A Past Life,” may lack ingenuity, but is supported by Rogers’ vulnerability and her vocal prowess.

Though the album is one of the first of the year, it’s hard to call it unique. Once you’ve heard one indie-pop album, you’ve heard them all. But that doesn’t make “Heard It In A Past Life” bad, because even the weakest songs are still catchy and fun to listen to.

The best of the album comes from her 2017 EP, featuring songs like “On + Off” and her first single “Alaska.” On both tracks, the music and the vocals are complimentary and don’t feel awkward or overly distorted.

“Overnight” is the radio-ready pop single that helps kick the album off. Roger croons “'Cause people change overnight / Things get strange, but I'm alright,” showcasing her lyrical fragility on the album.

Other tracks like “Say It” and “Give A Little” offer nothing more than fun indie tracks. While both songs support the general feel of the album, a good time with serious undertones, they are also fun when considered just as singles. These tracks have a fun beat, they’re good to turn up loud, and they’re easy listening.

“Back In My Body” is the slow burn closer that leaves the album feeling powerful rather than weak. Rogers manages to showcase a range of emotions on the album, but this song stands out as the music rises with her voice, all of it coming together to not only inspire but reassure as well.

“Heard It In A Past Life” is the kind of album that is full of summer break jams that go well through the night and into the early morning. It’s a strong kick off to 2019 for alternative music, and while it may not be anything special in overall sound, it still holds as a good listen and a solid debut presentation.

Favorite Tracks: “On + Off,” “Back In My Body” and “The Knife”

Article by Lindsey Lanham


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