Maggie Rogers’ ‘Don’t Forget Me’ Sounds Like Your Favorite Early 2000s Romcoms

Homeward bound on a road trip to rediscover yourself? Humbled by the passage of time? The singer-songwriter's third studio album is your soundtrack.

Maggie Rogers’ ‘Don’t Forget Me’ Sounds Like Your Favorite Early 2000s Romcoms

Let the record show that even before I heard Maggie Rogers’ third studio album, Don’t Forget Me, I likened it to the kind of music worthy of a wholesome, early aughts romcom—one that would see a 30-something Sandra Bullock losing everything only to rediscover it (and so much more) back in the rural hometown she’d previously fled. Whether I was describing the premise of Hope Floats matters little. There was just something about the album’s two lead singles (its warm title track “Don’t Forget Me” and witty “So Sick Of Dreaming”) that seemed to indicate Rogers’ fans would be graced with more “main character music.” Now that it’s arrived and I’ve listened in full (three, four, or fifteen times), I can delightedly report that Don’t Forget Me will impel you to rent a convertible and hightail it through some cornfields…or whatever you have to drive through to return to where you’re from.

In a sit down with Apple Music ahead of the album’s April 12 release, Rogers described the ten tracks as “coming home” and indeed, each one seems a sonic stop along her journey to the end of her twenties. The album opens with “It Was Coming All Along,” a meditation on the aches of change—the micro (“call my mother on the phone, said there’s talking in the kitchen of selling my childhood home”) to macro (“and I feel like a deer in headlights, when I turn on the TV”). She’s fine now, she concludes. That this is where Don’t Forget Me embarks is an indicator of its final destination: acceptance, but overall, emotional enlightenment. Anyone who’s found themselves in the self-help section of a bookstore (or, seen Hope Floats) knows that getting there, though, first requires denial, anger, bargaining, and depression. She lends her voice to all of it.


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On “Drunk,” Rogers’ raw vocals are backed by a beat that puts your pulse in your palm and evokes a certain arrogance of youth. “Nobody’s gonna tell me it’s not right,” she asserts on the bridge. Whatever experience she’s referring to (a bad boyfriend perhaps), it’s very likely she’s the one in the wrong, but like anyone in their twenties, she never relents. “I can hear them whisperin’/call, but I’m not listenin’.'” Then, on the Fleetwood Mac-reminiscent “So Sick Of Dreaming” a frustrated Rogers sounds like she’s lamenting the follies of a lover who isn’t willing to put her first. On the second and third listen, however, you wonder if Rogers isn’t also referring to a less mature self who’s just come into fame and fancies herself “so cool” and on the “right track”: “You think you’re so cool/ ’cause everybody knows you, but what’s so good about that?”

Tonally, the album then takes a turn where Rogers reexamines the past in the rearview mirror. First, she offers a middle finger to a failed relationship on “The Kill,” in which she recalls driving upstate with an old lover who was “halfway out the door.” And on the gut-wrenching “I Still Do” she offers grace to another relationship long gone. “Love is not the final straw/But it’s always a reason to risk it all/Oh, it’s true, at least the way that I loved you.” Accompanied by a mournful melody, the delicate piano ballad serves as a reminder that change, as we too often forget, can only really be fought in vain: “And how far can you bend before you break it all someday?” If there’s ever been a song to have a shower beer to—as Rogers discussed with Zane Lowe—this is the one.


Maggie Rogers is the best. Always love our chats. New one on YouTube now #maggierogers #sadsongs #cry #music #fyp

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Nearing the end of the road trip through Rogers’ twenties is a wisdom known only to someone who’s survived them. And Joni Mitchell’s entire discography. “Time moves slow/Until one day you wake up and you realize/That what you see is what you know,” she sings on “All the Same.” The album ends with “Don’t Forget Me,” where Rogers admits that she’s not taking the same roads (marriage and hetero domesticity, mainly) as her friends, and despite how utterly terrifying it can be to realize you’re on your own, she’s proud of how she’s managed: “I always find my way back to my feet.”

In more ways than one, Don’t Forget Me does exactly what those wholesome, early aughts romcoms did best by reflecting an evolution people can relate to: growing up and further into oneself. One day, you’re a passenger princess making waves with your hand out the window without a care, and the next, you’re a senescent existentialist scream-singing behind the wheel. Don’t Forget Me is the soundtrack for that ride.

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