Mac Miller | Circles | Album Review
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
With the release of his posthumous single, “Good News,” fans were salivating, anxious for more from the late Mac Miller. A week went by until late January 17, when Circles, the artist’s sixth studio album that was being worked on prior to his death back in 2018, was released on all streaming platforms.
The 12-track album features no prolific artists but is filled with Miller’s soft rapping vocals alongside lo-fi, calm, and infectious beats that are carried by his complex lyricism.
Opening with the title track, “Circles” introduces a soothing atmosphere with a melody made of guitar, triangle chimes, and light, subtle percussion. Miller’s harsh, raspy voice flows fluently with the instruments with his opening line: “Well, this is what it look like right before you fall,” to create a balance of hard and soft noise that can be heard throughout the entirety of the album, not just the first track.
“Blue World” opens with a snippet from the 1950s “It’s A Blue World” by The Four Freshmen that then transitions into an upbeat hip-hop jam. “Complicated” and “I Can See” consists of heavy synthesized beats and instruments that flow steadily and are not overly excessive or annoying to the ear.
On a more serious note, focusing on the lyrics, “Good News” discusses the details of Miller’s mindset during his time when he dealt with depression and how he overcame it to a light acoustic beat. “Hand Me Downs,” which happens to feature Baro Sura, has a melancholy tone to it with synths and steady beats as Miller talks about his ways of coping with his depression.
Considering that it is a direct follow up to his previous album, Swimming, Circles does more than just complete the story that was started. It reminds audiences and listeners of the talent that Miller was gifted with and what could’ve been if not for his untimely passing.
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