Melanie Rogers’ first foray into writing her own material, the new single “Fever”, goes a long way towards establishing her as one of the most promising new talents working both in the pop and singer-songwriter genre. It represents, as well, a further turning of a corner as she further distances herself from her musical past in the Contemporary Christian style. It is a common tale, a young man or woman who grows up in the church but falls away when she witnesses the hypocrisy of human beings, but Rogers is an uncommon talent. She began playing piano at five years old and guitar at age eleven, but her greatest talents are as a singer. Her voice breathes life into every line of this wonderful track.
I love how she builds the track. Moving from the synthesized backdrop of its opening seconds into the gradual introduction of other musical elements is handled with the right pacing. The song, in full flight, has a smooth sound yet resonates from the start as a piece with emotional depth. Melanie Rogers aspires to something more than your typical disposable pop song. You will be hard-pressed to hear anything remotely comedic during this track, but Rogers wraps her serious message in such a lush and viscerally rendered progression from one peak to the next.
The guitar and drumming have the right amount of physicality. Jesse Field’s production brings the instrumental sounds to life with impressive fidelity; the six-string, in particular, elevates the performance across the board. It provides a melodic counterpoint to Rogers’ voice that compliments her rather than vying for sonic superiority. Rogers and her creative partners deepen the track’s sound using synthesizer accompaniment, but it never takes on a critical role except during the chorus. It gives the refrain extra oomph than it would otherwise possess.
She depicts the heat and ultimately diminishing returns from a relationship arising from physical chemistry instead of more solid values. I believe any listener over the age of sixteen can and will relate to her lyrics and the furious mix of emotions you experience in such scenarios. The plain-spoken style of her writing is an ideal choice for the track – she never tries dressing up this experience with the overwrought language. Her interpretative skills are developed enough that she gives even these everyday words the lift of true poetry.
“Fever” is an apt description of where Rogers’ creativity stands now. This is the sound of a musical artist working at an inspired level rather than turning in some sort of rote by the numbers performance with superficial and disposable beauty. Melanie Rogers is at a turning point in both her life and musical career, but it’s the best sort of turning point. It is that moment when you see an even brighter day to come. Let’s hope, as music fans, she continues pursuing this path. Her vocal and writing for the track “Fever” stakes her claim to being one of the brightest young talents recording today and promises even higher peaks to come.