Mac Miller is one of the most peculiar rappers in the hip-hop genre. He has always switched his style when it comes to his mixtapes and albums. Unfortunately, he passed away before he could showcase more of his talent in the hip-hop genre.
However, before he passed Miller was in the process of making an album called “Circles,” which recently released posthumously not only to pay homage to the deceased rapper but to also credit his singing and rapping skills.
The title song “Circles” begins the album with soft guitar playing in the background while Miller sings about his life having no direction. His performance is really impressive on this track with his soft vocals. It’s a great intro and it leads perfectly into the next track.
“Complicated” lightens the mood with a slow and soulful alternative beat. Miller talks about his life and the complications that comes with it. He does a good job of conveying this message with vocals matching the energy of the beat.
Mac Miller showcases his rapping skills with “Blue World.” He discusses the tribulations throughout his life. The rapping feels a little out of place since Miller sings well throughout the first two tracks. While his rapping is impressive, he would have been better off continuing his amazing singing performance.
“Good News,” the first single from the album, finds Miller talking about how his friends always want to himself positively. However, Miller finds this hard with negative emotions continually surrounding him.The production of the song is very soulful with piano playing lightly in the background. Miller's tone matches really with the production and the topic he’s trying to convey.
“I Can See” brings in a psychedelic atmosphere with Miller discussing how his peers can finally see the pain he is goes through. Production-wise, the song combines elements of alternative and R&B to create one of the best sounding songs on the album.
“Everybody” begins with a beautiful solo while paying homage to the 1972 classic “Everybody’s Gotta Live” by Arthur Lee. Throughout the song, the instrumental builds up to a classic R&B type beat. The only downfall on this track would be the vocal performance by Miller. Unlike his previous songs, his singing doesn’t mesh together with the beat at all. At some points, he even sounds out of tune which is disappointing since this song sounds amazing.
“Woods” describes Miller’s previous relationship and how it’s beyond fixing. Similar to “Everybody,” the production includes heavy influences of old R&B. Miller does a better job with meshing well with beat and subject matter. The only issue with this song is it does drag, as the production can sometimes become repetitive.
“Hands” is an interesting track since it’s the most hip-hop influenced on this album. Miller discusses how he questions his own behavior. His flow on this track is very impressive and it meshes well with the beat. Unlike “Blue World,” Miller seems more comfortable with rapping on the track and it shows he can still put together a good rap performance.
Overall “Circles” is a great send-off for Mac Miller. The emotions he displays are impressive and do a good job with storytelling as well. Vocally, Miller has some missteps but they’re minimal. 4.5/5