Mac Miller has finally come full circle in his career in music. With his newest and final album, he finishes his journey with an inevitable change. Mac’s transition from a high school rapper to a soulful R&B singer and musician was one to behold. His earlier projects feature immature and fun rapping about girls, partying, and his hometown childhood experiences. As he continued throughout his career, he moved into more abstract and deeper topics such as love, depression and his hopes for his future. His final album was a true completion of this transition, as it features Mac singing over almost every track. The album was a continuation from Mac’s previous album, “Swimming.”
The introduction to this album has the same title, “Circles.” This song has a lot of self-reflection, and discusses how changing can be hard. Mac sings about how he feels like he goes in circles and how he can’t be changed. This song starts off the album with a somber tone but gives listeners an idea of the topics, ideas, and styles Mac will explore throughout the rest of the album.
By the third song in the album, the tone completely shifts. In “Blue World,” Mac Miller sings and raps over a bouncy and light beat. He subtly raps about topics of love, and sings “Without you it’s the color blue,” associating blue with sadness in this instance. However, these bars don’t take away from the full topic of the song, which Mac is telling listeners that one day everything will be fine.
“Good News,” a single off the album, was easily one of the best tracks and extremely sad given the fact that Mac recorded this just months before he passed away. He sings over a minimalistic and muted guitar and some simple percussion, which gives his voice and his lyrics a lot of power in the song. Mac talks about how he feels like nobody cares when he’s down and they only want to hear the good things. He is feeling tired and that he needs to rest, which sadly foreshadowed his death. This song is very raw and emotional, and is possibly one of the best songs in his career.
The sixth song on the album is another somber track that features Mac singing throughout the whole song. “Everybody” is a beautiful piano ballad, with Mac telling stories in the verses, and singing about life and death in the choruses. The introduction to the song features haunting vocals from Mac that perfectly complemented the feeling of the rest of the song.
The eighth song “Hand Me Downs” is the only song that features another artist, with Baro Sura assisting on the chorus. His airy vocals go well over the slow, laid back beat, and he uses a double-entendre relating to genes and jeans that runs throughout nearly the entire chorus. Mac’s verses follow the steady theme of the rest of this album, as he discusses how he can’t seem to break his bad habits and that every time he does something good it falls apart. This song features Mac rapping and singing, which fans of his older music might appreciate more than a song that features him just singing.
The outro to the album “Once a Day” is a soothing yet depressing final note to the album. Mac slowly sings over a simple beat that features hardly any percussion, and really lets his voice take the lead in this song. He sings about topics of substance abuse, depression, and feeling stuck in his own head. It is a heartbreaking end to Mac’s career, especially knowing how he died. He shows how much he has improved as a singer and songwriter, reflecting deeply on his personal troubles.
This entire album is put together amazingly, and is one of Mac Miller’s best projects in his career. Each song is unique while still staying on track of the themes of his album. The songs each feel like they have the topic of repetition somewhere in them, and he builds off his previous album “Swimming” by reflecting on his problems. Mac shows how much he has changed throughout his career, and his artistic evolution has been one of the most dramatic in a long time. “Circles” is a fitting yet too soon end to this amazing artist’s career.