Mac Miller- Circles review

Meghan Rostvit, Writer

The album Swimming was released one month before the death of Mac Miller, and it left fans feeling like they did not have closure. Swimming was seen as a self-discovery album for Miller, and it showed that he was moving on to make more genuine, real music which fans were very excited to see. After Miller’s accidental drug overdose, fans thought that they would never get to see Miller reach the potential that he showed in his last album. Now with the release of his first posthumous album Circles, it has given fans the closure that they were waiting for. 

Miller was working through Circles with producer Jon Brion before he passed. Since Miller did not make it for the completion of the album, Brion made sure that he would complete it. Miller’s family wrote a letter on Instagram saying, “This is a complicated process that has no right answer. No clear path. We simply know that it was important to Malcolm for the world to hear it.” The release of Circles was the second part of the album Swimming, and the completion of Miller’s initial concept of “swimming in circles”. 

Swimming and Circles were intended to be two-part projects. Miller was known for going into some deep topics, and his past two albums showed that perfectly. Miller was struggling with anxiety and depression, and the concept of ‘swimming in circles’ showed how dealing with those things can feel like there is no way of progressing. Even though the topics in the music are dark, the overall tone is optimistic. Miller’s past albums such as GO:OD AM and Watching Movies with the Sound Off were filled with really upbeat songs and references to his drug addiction, but the albums Swimming and Circles really showed a more vulnerable and mature side to Miller. 

The album Swimming is objectively one of his best albums. Mainly because it showed that Miller was becoming who he was supposed to be as an artist. After Circles was released, it gave some resolution and completion to his thoughts. Circles was less rap, and more genuine singing style to mainly focus more on the lyrics. Circles was a very lo-fi, synth-heavy album. The softer style to this album shows the emotional pain that Miller was going through, and displays it beautifully. This album showed signs of liberation, letting go of the past and wanting to move on to become better. 

Through his music, he was able to gain acceptance in the rap industry. But he was still on a journey to accept himself. The release of Swimming and Circles showed that he was trying to find acceptance and peace within himself. Junior Mariah Bailey said, “Mac’s death had a really big impact on me, and having his final album come out really felt like we (his fans) had some closure. This album is incredibly beautiful.” Miller’s death was a very impactful event to his fans. Circles was able to become the closure they needed.