Maggie Rogers: Surrender review – giving in to intensity

The sound of an artist genuinely freeing themselves is never less than riveting. During the pandemic, Maggie Rogers moved in with her parents in Maine after the burnout from touring her debut album, 2019’s folk-R&B confection Heard It in a Past Life, and becoming a Grammy-nominated breakthrough artist. She enrolled at Harvard, reconnected with herself and NYC, and then – that greatest signifier of rebirth – she cut off all her hair. Second album Surrender is just that: a freshly cropped Rogers channelling anthemic 90s rock-chick and giving in to intensity, recorded between her home city, New York, and in the UK with Kid Harpoon (Harry Styles, Florence Welch).

Songs such as That’s Where I Am are clean and punchy like Sheryl and Shania, though Rogers dips this in alt-rock on the excellent Honey and the Placebo-like promise of Want Want. Throughout, she gives an exceptional vocal performance, urgent and belting, especially on Shatter, a turbo-charged, Haim-style ripper. Occasionally this can leave you longing for something less overblown, but this is Rogers 2.0: dancing sweatily in NYC karaoke bars and singing lines such as “sucking nicotine down my throat/ thinking of you giving head” (on new track Horses) and rocking out. Letting rip suits her.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back to top button