Mac Miller’s posthumous album graces fans in 2020

Gracyn Richardson, Editor

On January 17, the late Mac Miller’s album Circles debuted sending a ping of grief through his fans during this winter.
Miller’s album was teased with the song “Good News” aired on December 27, 2019 that, to date, is one of his most successful songs.
After Miller’s death, it was believed that he was working on a new album, but many or maybe all of his fans did not expect the album to be done to completion, but like a gift from above, the album sounded as if he had worked on the piece for years to get it to perfection.
To start, the song, “Circles” starts with a very soothing tone, and Miller’s vocals accompany the light and jazzy-sounding chords and drums. This specific first song sets a tone for the rest of the album. Some may argue that this song shows how truly emotional Miller was, and how he kept his feelings at bay for an ex or for his friends. The first song on the album truly sings you to sleep with how graceful and almost magical it feels to hear his voice again after so long of being silenced.
The second song on the album, “Complicated” showcases a more upbeat feel and synth chords in the back followed by some spread apart and rhythm pleasing hi-hats. The verse that reads, “Inside my head is getting pretty cluttered, I try but can’t clean up the mess I made, ‘fore I start I think about the future, first, can I please get through the day?” resonated with listeners about Miller’s headspace towards the end of his life that adds an extra layer on top of the already heart heavy posthumous album. The song ends with the line, “well I’m way too young to be getting old,” which thus, again, hurts.
The third song on the album, “Blue World” arguably is the most upbeat song of the whole album. Though the beat, chords, and song progression is so upbeat and feels like a “party” song, the words are so emotional and in depth that it gives the song a new meaning when one listens to what Miller is actually saying.
The fourth and arguably best song on the album, “Good News” shoots deep. Listening to it with the knowledge of Miller passed brings out how truly sad the entire album is. Miller alludes to his drug use in the song many different times, along with the end of his life and how he’s “so tired of being tired.” The track shows how emotional Miller was and open he was about his problems, specifically drugs and his inferred mental health decline. The line that said, “There’s a whole lot more for me waiting, I know maybe I’m too late, I can make it there some other time, then I finally discovered that it ain’t that bad,” can be inferred as Miller viewed himself dying and that when he finally did go, he realized that it wasn’t as bad as everyone made it out to be. Though his death was overruled as an accidental overdose, with this album, it made his friends and family wonder.
The fifth track, “I Can See” is yet another song where Miller shows his truly personal side and how much he was struggling and how his fans arguably didn’t know, or did but not to the true extent. The short song showcases how he perceived God, saying “that’s just the way it goes, your God don’t way for no one,” which adds yet another layer to the album in the eyes of what fans perceive of Miller’s life after his death.
The sixth track “Everybody” talks about how everyone needs to live and die, and how rough life can get, but how if you have someone with you, it can help you. It feels strange listening to Miller’s advice from beyond the grave, because it gives the feeling that he has this vast amount of new knowledge that no one else living does, because they are just that, living. There’s a line that reads, “If you’re with me I’ll never go away,” that gives the feeling of if his friends, family and fans remember his legacy, he will never really die which is a very hard hitting thing to realize as his fans.
The seventh track, “Woods” is one that has more of a lower, slower type beat that is also very soothing. The first line reads, “Things like this ain’t built to last, I might fade like those before me,” which, again, is another otherworldly type knowledge that the listener feels he has from beyond the grave. This specific song talks about how he can’t get enough of love or arguably drugs. It seems surreal that Miller knew that he was an addict, and it almost gives it the feel that he knew his own cause of death, and that he knew he wasn’t going to live long.
Another very strong track is the eighth track, “Hand Me Downs.” It is a very chilled out track that has a lot of the same energy as “Good News” that gives it such a sad feeling. “I been keeping it together but I’m feeling strange, get away when it ain’t really safe and it don’t seem right,” is yet another line that resonates such a different meaning since he passed away. The track features Miller’s feelings about how he feels about going forward every day, and how he has to deal with his mental health. Very sad track.
The next track, “That’s On Me,” features more of an upbeat rhythm that seems like a ballad, with the way the music swings back and forth. There’s some traditional piano and guitar in the back that gives the song some warmth that his other songs featured on the album don’t have. The words are repetitious, but still flow together, giving off yet another melancholic like feel for the track. This specific track feels like it came off of one of Miller’s older albums, but still has that feature of emotion that is significant throughout the whole album.
The tenth track, “Hands,” is more of a groovy happy song where Miller gives his fans some insight about helping themselves, which gives it yet another grieving feel that none of his other albums have featured before. It seems as if, again, he is giving his fans information from beyond the grave that makes the songs so sad due to him not being able to give any insight to any of his songs. Before, he would be interviewed and asked on different social media platforms about his music, but now, fans only know what is presented to them and nothing more.
The second to last track, “Surf” features Miller in an acoustic like state where he is sharing his insights on his own mental health. The line that reads, “Yeah, well sometimes I get lonely, not when I’m along, but it’s more when I’m standing in crowds that I’m feeling most on my own,” really shows how much Miller was struggling, and how no one noticed too deeply because of how he would put his humor out as a front.
The last track on the album, “Once a Day,” closes the whole album super melancholically. The line that reads, “Every now and again baby, I get high,” which is a very pivotal moment throughout the album, because it’s the first time that he directly addresses that he does get high, and the context of the line gives off the impression that he knows that he gets high and that people do know that he gets high and he knows he gets high, and that he possibly has a problem.
Overall, Circles is Mac Miller’s best album. His fans got to see the side of him that he didn’t showcase that often, and his mental health before he died. Mac will always hold an extremely special place in the hearts of 2000s rap lovers, and people who valued him just for being funny. Mac Miller will always be a rap icon that lives on in his fans’ and family’s hearts forever.