Malcolm James McCormick aka Mac Miller was one of the most beloved figures in music by my peers. There was no denying that the man was musically gifted and was one of the most hilarious humans on the planet, which was shown on appearances of Ridiculousness. While I was never the biggest fan of Miller’s music, there was always a part of me that respected his continuous transition from your standard hip-hop sound to taking on influences of jazz and soul. It’s a damn tragedy that we will never see his artistry fully realized as he passed away in the Fall of 2018….. because this album showed that Miller was turning the leaf from growing artist to mega-talent.
Circles is a great album and Mac’s best. Sadly, it comes posthumously.
I think Mac’s biggest fans are going to find the closure that they needed on this record. While it will forever be painful that he’s no longer with us, getting the best of him to say goodbye will satisfy most people.
The lead single to this project, “Good News” is one of the most gut-wrenching songs I ever listened to as Miller intimately sings to us about feeling isolated and even when it was visible that he wasn’t doing well, all the people around him only wanted to hear good news from him.
While the themes of both “Complicated” and “Blue World” are dark and dreary , I love the bounciness of both instrumentals and these are some of the tracks where Miller showed vast improvements in his vocal capabilities. The man can flow on any track but his singing on previous was just bland and musical NyQuil to say the least. That’s not to say that there are times where his vocals are pretty weak on this album because he does have those moments on tracks such as “Circles” and “I Can See”.
“That’s On Me” might be the one that brings people to tears just like “Good News” because while Mac comes to terms with being the cause of some of his health issues from a mental standpoint, he puts all the blame on myself, which should never be the case in less you are just avoiding seeking any help. I don’t think that was the case for him. I feel like a lot of people around him just kept pressuring him to do things that only drove him further down into a well of darkness.
Circles is a bittersweet sendoff for Mac Miller. It is hard to fathom the impact that losing Miller initially was and those feelings that I had were re-affirmed on this project. The man was still developing and was on the brink of having that same musical arc that Tyler, the Creator is thriving off right now. This was Miller’s best work yet and I am grateful that his family and friends were able to curate this project into one that feels like Mac put it together if he were still alive.
We love you, Mac. This is the best goodbye you could’ve given your fans. Rest in Peace.
Richest Tracks: “Complicated”, “Blue World”, “Good News”, “Everybody”, “Woods”, “Hand Me Downs”, “That’s On Me”, “Hands”, “Surf”
Worst Tracks: “Circles”, “I Can See”