“Fever”, Melanie Rogers’ new single, places her squarely in the camp of singers and performers capable of fusing their life and art into one seamless package. Several attributes set it apart from your standard pop-laced fare. The first is its production. Producer Jesse Field has obviously spent a great deal of time and effort rendering her voice and the song’s musical arrangement with palpable sensitivity. Rogers is at the center of the mix, but Field does an exemplary job of integrating her voice with the musical backing; the polish he brings to the song is unmistakable. “Fever” is a fully realized musical experience and all the more impressive for its completeness when you consider Rogers’ seeming inexperience.
When you dig deeper, however, it becomes apparent Rogers is one of those rare musical artists born to do this. It is likely, if not a given, Rogers is intelligent and committed enough to fruitfully pursue a variety of paths in her life. Learning piano at five years old and then guitar at eleven is a clear indication, however, she boasted greater talents as a vocalist and “Fever” reveals her considerable skills as a vocalist. She has proven herself capable of interpreting other’s words and now, with this new release, shows her talents for making her own musings on entangled hearts.
Her lyrics chronicle the final stages of a romantic union fracturing because it is one built on infatuation alone. She employs a straight-forward writing style grounding the track in objective reality, almost any age group can relate to her experiences and thoughts, and her passionate vocal lends extra weight to its sentiments. The chorus hits with memorable impact and Rogers milk’s the moment for all its worth. She has a voice requiring no pre-production trickery and it plays into the song’s instrumental excellence instead of demanding the spotlight. Young performers are often too eager to “prove” they belong on the biggest stages but Rogers glides through this track with understated yet considerable confidence.
I am taken with the drum sound achieved during this song. She could have relied on technology to supply percussion for the track, but it snaps as she worked with real musicians to bring this track to life. The only facet of the recording that lacks timeless relevance is the synthesizer added to flesh out the sound. The track would be a little lesser for its absence, but its ultimate purpose is for providing color to the arrangement. “Fever” gains even more from the fluid guitar work present throughout the performance.
Melanie Rogers’ turn from the world of Contemporary Christian music and her traumatizing experiences with the church has prompted a flowering. It isn’t a flowering of artistic skill alone; much of the sound and emotion I hear in “Fever” heralds her blooming as a person. She can rest assured she is living the best version of her public self as possible, her powers will only grow from here, and her unique talents for making the personal universal throughout “Fever” places her on a different plateau than many creating today
by Brent Musgrave