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‘Don’t Forget Me’ Review: An Unforgettable Album That Delivers On Its Title

4 Stars

Maggie Rogers released "Don't Forget Me" on April 12.
Maggie Rogers released "Don't Forget Me" on April 12. By Courtesy of Maggie Rogers / Capitol Records
By Makenna J. Walko, Crimson Staff Writer

On April 16, thousands of people gathered outside Boston’s Paradise Rock Club as the sun rose, the long line winding down the block and twisting around the corner. Who could draw these die-hard fans out of their beds in the pre-dawn light, convince them to wait hours upon hours in the hot sun, and persuade them to combat hunger and thirst for a slim chance of seeing her perform live in concert?

Maggie Rogers — the 29 year-old artist behind the latest hit album “Don’t Forget Me.”

The album was released on April 12, kicking off a string of surprise performances across the country, in advance of a stadium tour later this year. Rogers is no stranger to Boston — in many ways, her performance at Paradise Rock Club represents a full-circle moment in her artistic and academic career. While she rose to global fame as an indie pop artist, Rogers enrolled at Harvard Divinity School in 2023.

Rogers has come a long way since then: Following her 2019 album, “Heard It In a Past Life,” and her 2022 album, “Surrender,” “Don’t Forget Me” is Rogers’s third full-length studio album and arguably her best. The album captures both Rogers’s personal memories and snapshots of a fictional “younger ‘Thelma & Louise’ character,” whom Rogers imagined road-tripping through the American South and West in pursuit of new beginnings.

The album, which was written over the course of just five days, does a stellar job of capturing this intimacy of a solo adventure: with its stripped-back, acoustic sound, embrace of personal storytelling, and honest, honeyed vocals, “Don’t Forget Me” gives the sense that Rogers is actually singing right to her audience.

“Don’t Forget Me,” the album’s title track and one of its lead singles, is perhaps the most emblematic of this quality. The song features stories from personal friends, slipped into the song like postcards from other lives: “My friend Sally's getting married / And to me that sounds so scary,” Rogers sings in the first verse, and in the second, “My friend Molly's got a guy, she / Swears to God could be her family.” Rogers contrasts these details against her life’s timeline, capturing the disorienting position many twenty-somethings find themselves in as their paths diverge from those of childhood friends. Unlike her marriage-bound friends, Rogers just wants someone to “take my money, wreck my Sundays / Love me 'til your next somebody.”

In the song “So Sick of Dreaming,” the album’s other lead single, a recording of Rogers interrupts halfway through the song. She says, “So he calls me up fifteen minutes before the reservation, and says he's got Knicks tickets instead. I mean, I was at the restaurant, so I took the steaks to go, I had two martinis at the bar, and went to meet my friends down the street. What a loser.” Her tone, plus the reminiscence itself, sounds like the kind of anecdote a friend might regale you with over the phone as they wait for the train — it’s casual, personal, intimate. It makes you feel like you know Rogers, not just as an artist or a celebrity, but as a friend.

In “Drunk,” Rogers is caught up in the music, swept up in the lust of a night out. The racing beat, in conjunction with the fast-moving lyrics, delivers a similar effect for the listener. “It goes on and on / And on and on and on and on and on,” Rogers sings, and for a moment, it feels like the song itself has no beginning and no conclusion, a never-ending loop of longing. Rogers revisits the lyric again later in the album with the song “On & On & On,” a kind of inside joke for faithful listeners who have listened to the album all the way through. Her diary-like dissection of lives — both real and fictional — goes “on and on and on” throughout the album, embodied quite literally through the repeated line.

“The Kill” is another of the album’s massive successes — with a catchy melody that buries itself in your head and refuses to let go, this is one of Rogers’s most memorable tracks to date. Although the instrumental elements of the song are upbeat, the lyrics are devastating: “You kept my secrets and stole my weaknesses / In your white T-shirts, but I couldn't fill / The shoes you laid down for me from the girls that came before.” The song is a striking testament to a relationship doomed from the start, the kind of whirlwind romance that, like the song itself, stays with you long after it has ended.

Despite its hard-hitting chorus, “The Kill” doesn’t earn the title of top tear-jerker on the album. That award goes to “I Still Do,” a haunting piano ballad that showcases Rogers’s vocals and songwriting prowess. “Love is not a debt you pay,” Rogers sings, “Love is not the final straw / But it's always a reason to risk it all.”

There are perhaps moments where the album could have been more ambitious, and devoted fans of her early work may be disappointed in the lack of experimentation and synth influence. But all in all, “Don’t Forget Me” successfully reveals a more mature version of Rogers, as she reflects on her past decade in the industry and all the wisdom that has come with it. The album feels significantly slowed down compared to her earlier work, sonically gentler and more acoustic, “vintage, but not Americana” — the perfect record for a leisurely Sunday drive, as Rogers intended.

And she accomplishes another of her goals, too: The last lyric on the album is “Don’t forget me,” and after the feat of songwriting the album represents, there’s no way the world will be forgetting Rogers any time soon.

—Staff writer Makenna J. Walko can be reached at

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