Since passing due to an accidental overdose in September of 2018, Mac Miller’s family announced the artist’s first posthumous album on instagram just last week.
Mac Miller was in the process of crafting an album just before he passed.
“Swimming” was undoubtedly a musical checkpoint for Mac Miller, after releasing a diverse range of prolific records one after another. A companionship album to the previous, “Circles” levels the other out with an alternative sound. Electro-indie components provide rap-lacking, fresh sonics to create a sense of the intentional connection to “Swimming.”
“Complicated” alters a relatable cliché into singularity through aural details and lyrical poeticism. “Inside my head, it’s getting pretty cluttered,” a parallel to the comparison of spring cleaning in “Good News.” Thematic lyricism trickles throughout the album. The repetition of “don’t trip” in “Blue World” seems to be a self reminder. We later hear “Hands,” the late rapper sings, “I’m busy trippin’ ’bout something that hasn’t even happened yet.” Symbolisms like the color blue, or the moon, swim from track to track, seemingly painting the auditory sensation of going in circles.
Synth-winding melodies carry Mac Miller’s “Circles” through heartbreaking melcholy
Lo-fi beats and live instrumentals lift the lyrics from what could have been more depressing—though it still feels heart-rending. Yet, it’s almost cathartic to hear the inner workings of Mac Miller when he struggled. Now that he is gone, “Circles” gives a sense of closure to fans, and the rap community he contributed towards since he was a teenager.