Single Review: Maggie Rose, “Looking Back Now”

Looking-Back-Now-Maggie-RoseI want to like Maggie Rose’s music more than I do. She has a good voice. She sings good songs. And her music actually sounds country. Should be a simple enough recipe, right?

But the problem I keep having is that I don’t quite feel her as a storyteller. “I Ain’t Your Mama” called for a little more bite in the performance, while “Better” could have used a little more lived-in angst to really hit home.

Her current single, “Looking Back Now,” is a striking story-song involving a female narrator who puts a couple of no-good men in the ground when they get a little too fresh. But in listening to Rose’s performance, I don’t get the feeling that I’m listening to a true story. It’s a little too obvious that she hasn’t lived it. And yet, when I hear the song performed by writer Lisa Carver, I’m with her every step of the way. I believe every word.

Rose will likely develop her interpretive abilities further over time, and I hope she does, because she could be a potentially cool artist. As it is, we’re left with records like this – records that are good and enjoyable enough, but that could have been even better.

Written by Lisa Carver

Grade: B


  1. I agree. She has a great voice and personality, but somehow the latter has not translated into the music. I have listened to the full album several times through, but it still doesn’t click.

    One problem is that more than half of the songs on this album are too formulaic — namely, the sassy or bad girl motif inspired in recent years by Miranda Lambert, who I love but is copied by nearly every female artist today. As a result, there is a remarkable lack of genuine vulnerability, which all artists (including male) require. This is in marked contrast to the great female artists of yesteryear, from Kitty Wells to Tammy Wynette to Pam Tillis.

  2. She started out as a recording artist while she was still in her teens, didn’t she? I wonder if that meant she missed out on some kinds of experiences (both life and musical) which could have potentially made her grow artistically?

    But I do quite like this single, and I wasn’t expecting to at all, because she’s left me completely cold before.

  3. Love Maggie’s “Cut to Impress” album which I bought just about a year ago. I guessed wrong about what song would be the 3rd single. I thought it would be “The Preacher’s Daughter” which I like better than “Looking Back Now”.
    To young Ben with all his critical reservations, Maggie is a potentially cool artist. To old Bob, she’s cool right now.

  4. …surely interesting enough to get me intrigued taking a closer look at the rest of her catalog.
    i enjoy this song quite a bit.

  5. I’ve listened to the album several times, and can’t remember a thing about it…

    I do really like her song Mississippi’s Crying though, back from when she was just plain old Margaret Durante.

  6. Great song – great album. I’ve listened to this album more than any other in the past year. This song is the highlight – but “Mostly Bad” is a close second.

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