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Album Review: Maggie Rogers - Heard It In A Past Life

16 January 2019 | 4:53 pm | James d'Apice

"The pulse of 'Heard It In A Past Life' is near enough irresistible."

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The last few decades of popular music have reminded us of the value of drums. It is a strange thought that, for some, the rhythm that plays behind a vocalist is merely "the beat". The lesson is one Maggie Rogers has learned well. Drums define this record.

Give A Little opens proceedings with a blast of mature defiance: “If I was who I was before, then I’d be waiting at your door.” Rogers knows that genuine bangers, as well as being propelled by neat drums, need to leave enough space for an emotional response. The Knife highlights the exquisite torture and uncertainty of early romance. Overnight is similarly evocative, punctuated by different (though still amazing) drums. Fallingwater shines brightest. At its soaring height, as our delicious drums are tantalisingly switched up, Rogers’ voice becomes truly otherworldly. It’s a natural, beautiful piece – like falling water.

Perhaps the heartbeat driving what we put in our ears is fundamental to why we listen to music at all, or perhaps Rogers’ achievement with this record is to convince us of that. Regardless, the pulse of Heard It In A Past Life is near enough irresistible. Do yourself a favour and surrender.