This reivew was authored by Tyler.
Have a Seat is Nashville-based singer-songwriter Maggie Rose’s latest effort. It is her third full-length record, and it has made me an instant fan. The album is an eclectic collision of rock, funk, country, and rhythm and blues with party anthems as well as soulful ballads. Rose has a distinct attitude and puts forth a powerful message. Although the album was recorded before the COVID-19 pandemic, it still contains relevant themes of recent cultural tumult. Rose is confident in her vision and not afraid to explore this social commentary.
According to an American Blues Scene review, Rose says, “These songs were written during a contentious time, and there are undertones to the lyrics that are influenced by the state of our world politics and the politics of the music industry.”Have a Seat is a plea from Rose for us to return to civility and tolerance. “Have a seat” is an invitation to pursue more effective forms of communication. Rose wants us to show empathy, compassion, love, and gratitude for each other. According to a Big Hassle Biography, she explains: “One of the most loving things we can do is listen and make others feel heard – give people the space to speak their mind and be themselves”
The song “What Are We Fighting For” starts off the album in mighty fashion. It is a soulful song about how we have lost our way as a society. Rose sings, “[We] used to share everything / Now we don’t know where to begin.” This track sets the stage for a conversation about building community and promoting peace.
The songs “Now and Then” and “Are We There Yet” are reminiscent of the R&B and soul of Esperanza Spalding’s 2016 album Emily’s D+Evolution. “Best in Me” and “What Makes You Tick” have a 70’s feel much like St. Vincent’s 2021 record Daddy’s Home. The song “Telephone” has a heavy groove while “Saint” is more contemplative. “Do It” is a call to action with R&B influence. In it Rose sings, “Why should I be a people pleaser, fall into line / That would be such a crime.” She wants us to explore our similarities and differences and lean into our own personal independence.
“You Got Today” has a spiraling chorus and issues a warning with biting lyrics: “Don’t Give me no lip, don’t give me no jive / Don’t wanna get hit? Well, baby don’t shake the hive.” “Help Myself” is sarcastic and comedic and is my favorite track on the record with lines like “I diagnose myself with the internet, minor aches and pains, death is imminent.” Her admitted hypochondria is very relatable.
The album takes a lot of inspiration from artists such as Aretha Franklin and the Staple Singers. Several songs feature brass instruments and strings which give an orchestral feel to play against the rhythmic backbeats. It gives the tracks an expanded sound with volume and dynamics.
Overall, Have a Seat is excellent. It’s full of different emotions and different atmospheres. Rose is a phenomenal vocalist with considerable passion and energy. The record feels both nostalgic and relevant to the current climate. Pardon the pun, but Have a Seat will have you on your feet.
Grade: A –