Maggie Rogers-Heard It In A Past Life Album Review

I know of Maggie due to her single ‘Light On,’ which is also on this album, blowing up last year. I will comment on the song once it appears in the album, but I will say that  I am curious to hear what else she has to offer.

  1. Give A Little- To start off the album, Maggie has chosen this song which is about gun violence and learning to love each other. It is super upbeat which is strange considering the content. Her voice sounds great, but the instrumentals are nothing special. When a song has such important content and is happy sounding, (unironically) it feels like it is demeaning the subject.
  2. Overnight- This song is about her feelings after the video of Pharrell hearing her music for the first time went viral. In that video Pharrell commented that no one sounded like her. She combined folk with pop, but with this she is going with pop and not really folk at all. This isn’t a bad song the production is great, but she defined herself early. Now,she sounds like every other pop star, not vocally, but stylistically.
  3. The Knife- This song is about her coming to knowledge suddenly. The production on this song is really good. The metaphor about the knife is interesting, it’s one I haven’t heard before. I don’t know why, but I don’t like it. I think I had such high expectations of her that just aren’t being met.
  4. Alaska- This was the song that made her go viral. This is what I was wanting from her album. It perfectly blends folk and pop music. Her vocals are lush and beautiful. The lyrics really paint a picture and the instrumentals are everything. More of this please.
  5. Light On- This is the first song I heard of Maggie’s. It is folk-pop at it’s finest and I was extremely excited to hear more songs with this vibe. It’s a beautiful nod to not knowing what you’re doing and the journey to figuring it out.
  6. Past Life- My immediate thought was that it sounds, at times, like Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Rhiannon.’ This is heading back way to the opposite direction as the first few songs. In the beginning of the album she focused on pop, but here she is embracing the folk. I’ve seen in interviews she doesn’t believe in sticking to genres, which is fine, but it’s not my cup of tea. I like having an idea of what I’m getting.
  7. Say It- I don’t really like the production on this song. Her vocals are mixed strangely. I like the lyrics because I can relate to them. Her voice does sound good and it is decent overall.
  8. On + Off- The beat and the chorus are my favorite parts of this song. If I could dance I would because it is so vibey. While the lyrics make obvious what it is about, her voice is great and the instrumentals make for a fantastic song.   
  9. Fallingwater- This song is pretty. It showcases how delicate and powerful she can be. The production is the outro is a bit funky. There’s a lot of vocals and layering that is overpowering.
  10. Retrograde- The instrumentals are louder than her voice so at times it isn’t easy to hear her. She does, as always, sound great. This song is about a breakdown that Maggie experienced. I wish that I could hear the breakdown in her voice. I want more emotion from her.
  11. Burning- These instrumentals and mixing is strange but good. It sounds like an old video game whose audio is fading a bit. With such a cool backing I think that she could have done more vocally. The lyrics are fine nothing special, but I really wanted her to work with what she had.
  12. Back In My Body- This song is extremely personal to her. It’s about finding herself and learning to be happy. The production is good the vocal layering actually works this time. It’s a good song.

Overall, I had high expectation, which is my problem, but she didn’t meet them. My favorite songs from this album ended up being the two that I had heard before and other folk focused songs. I’m not a huge folk fan I was just wanting something different to enter the mainstream. When she started to become famous I was excited that people would get to experience a different sound. And we did a little bit but she could have pushed it more. I’m going to give this album a B-.

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