Review: Rogers delivers honest chart-topper

“Heard it in a Past Life,” fully written and co-produced by Folk-pop singer Maggie Rogers, comprehensively elates the experiences and feelings of change. Rogers’ first major-label debut album with Capitol Records was released Jan. 18.

Maggie Rogers Graphic.jpg
Upon the album’s release, Maggie Rogers said on Instagram, “I am beaming and exploding with so much light and love. Thank you for holding me these past 2.5 years and letting me do this thing I love so much. This record belongs to you now.” Photo provided by Capitol Records

Upon release, the album placed No. 2 on the New Billboard 200, with over 37,000 albums sales, making it the No. 1 top-selling album the week following its drop.

The album begins with “Give A Little,” a boppy first track that eases listeners into Roger’s story and sound. Counting down to her album release, Rogers periodically posted handwritten notes explaining her motive for the song, and what it meant to her as writer. Each song had its own blurb. Upon release, the information helped fans establish what Rogers wanted them to take away from the song.

About this song, Rogers said, “I wanted to re-introduce myself. This song is a clean slate. Let’s start over. Let me tell you this story in my own words.”

“Heard It In A Past Life” includes two songs from Rogers’ past work, including the track that first introduced her to the world, “Alaska,” which has accrued over 100 million global combined streams to date.

Though released on her past EP, “Now That the Light Is Fading,” Rogers included “Alaska” because “this is the song that changed my life. Nearly everything that’s happened in the past two years has been an action or reaction related to that singular moment when this song was shared.”

Alaska boasts a very unique sound, inspired by electronic music. Rogers is notorious for using unconventional methods to produce her music. For example, she uses glacial and frog synths in the verses of techo-tinged track, “Overnight.” Nature has had an incredible impact on Rogers’ musical style, which takes inspiration from the sounds naturally created by the environment.

Released as a single prior to the album and her first No. 1 song, the track, “Light On,” transcends beyond all other tracks, clearly illustrating her experiences and feelings in trying to find herself. The track is vulnerable and prevalent, artfully expressing what it feels like to feel something completely different than what others might expect.
Rogers pleads with herself, explaining, “With everyone around me sayin, ‘you should be oh-so happy now.’”

“Heard it in a Past Life” is available on all streaming services and can be purchased for around $9.99 through iTunes, Amazon and other services. The album is explicit, though there is a clean version available.

Emily Stisser – Opinion Editor 

This will be Emily Stisser’s first year on ECHO staff, but she made several contributions while taking journalism class her freshman year.

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