MAGGIE ROGERS – ” That’s Where I Am “

Posted: December 1, 2022 in MUSIC

The bones and sentiment of “That’s Where I Am” are pure classic VH1 adult contemporary but the arrangement is all blaring distorted bass, huge breakbeat drums, and guitar chords that sound like they’re being played on light switches. I think in its own way it would be bold enough for Maggie Rogers to unashamedly write something along the lines of “Unwritten,” but it’s even more interesting to take that song and push it into this loud, stomping musical territory. She’s basically taking a very inspirational sort of song and reinforcing it with an arrangement that makes it sound like this massive, unstoppable force. It’s a brilliant move for a song she deliberately wrote to convey a triumphant happy ending, and I love that it’s also merging a very femme sound with a very hyper-masculine sound in a way that feels far more natural and complementary than contradictory.

Rogers’ lyrics describe a peaceful feeling on the other side of years of romantic drama. There’s enough plot points here to fill out a pretty solid 90 minute rom-com, and even though the chorus is written from a place of acceptance and perspective, she still sings about the more fraught and confusing moments in way that honors those feelings. The part that really slays me is when she questions how much this guy’s ex knew about their profound connection – “Did she know that we were together somehow? / you never touched me, but I felt you everywhere.” It takes a lot for someone to write a thing like that and sing it in a way that doesn’t sound at all delusional, but she pulls it off.

It takes a combination of raw talent and deep introspection to birth an album like Maggie Rogers’ “Surrender”. Full of collaborations with artists as varied as Rogers’ old pal Del Water Gap and late-night bandleader Jon Batiste, the album never settles on a direct muse, but flits between radio-friendly rock and early girl-power pop. While not quite as daring as its predecessor,”Heard It In a Past Life“, the album still delivers as an honest expression of the singer’s desire to be taken seriously as an artist. Perhaps Rogers said it best in “Anywhere With You,” one of the album’s breakout hits: “All I ever wanted is to make something fucking last.” This time around, she has.

released July 29th, 2022

Capitol Records;

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