Mac Miller — Circles — Album Review

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Hip-Hop | R&B

Listen on Spotify | Listen on Apple Music

Under normal circumstances, I’m really not the biggest fan of posthumous albums. I find a lot of them to be, to put it bluntly, shameless cash-grabs that cling onto the ankles of an artist who’s passed.

It was a tragedy to see the extremely unique and genuine Hip-Hop artist Mac Miller pass away on September of 2018, shortly following the release of his fifth and final studio album during the rappers lifetime, Swimming.

However, even with the release of Swimming being released so close before his death, Mac Miller had already begun recording even newer material; he had been working on this latest album, Circles, which had been posthumously released this Friday just gone.

With that bit of information in mind, I felt that I could go into some more Mac Miller music with enough confidence that there was still, in some sense, enough of him to be heard.

Earlier this month, Circles had been teased by the extremely emotional track, “Good News”. I found that given the circumstances behind this track, it was almost surreal to listen to. With the knowledge that Mac Miller is now gone, the songs lyrics are truly haunting. And yet, these lyrics seem incredibly relatable as well. Both of these elements, along with a perfectly bittersweet production, all culminate to create a track which feels like an emotional and abrupt farewell from Mac.

I then delved into the full album once I discovered that it had been released, and found it to overall be just as much of a solid project as Swimming, or perhaps even slightly better.

There is a diverse mix of moods on the track-list of Circles, which I feel only emphasises the bittersweet nature of the album even further than “Good News” did. And ironically, there are a number of tracks that are so full of life. The colourful vibes, found in many of the instrumentals, stay very true to the kind of Mac Miller magic that fans know and love. In fact, I would say that much of this album feels like it would’ve sounded the same, even if Mac Miller lived to see its release.

Circles is a heartfelt farewell from one of the previous decade’s most innovative rap artists, and it may quite possibly just be one of the most powerful posthumous albums I’ve listened to.

Favourite Tracks: Blue World | Good News | I Can See

Least Favourite Track: That’s On Me

Warner Records Inc.

8/10

My articles mainly revolve around music reviews and analysis. A bit like Anthony Fantano, but just a decade behind.

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