Mac Miller’s posthumous record ‘Circles’ is a candid and reflective final look into his life and artistry. The twelve track record plays as an aptly fitting follow on to his ‘Swimming’ project which was released a month before his death in 2018.
The record is less glossy around the edges but still holds onto the heart and soul that his music has always embodied. This album feels more like a singer-songwriter collection instead of a hip-hop record unlike ‘GO:OOD AM’ and that’s where the similarities to ‘Swimming’ begin.
There is a lot of experimentation in the sonical elements that drive the funkier soul deliveries and will have you sinking into the personal revelations that happen in the deep lyrical reflections.
From confessing “I need somebody to save me before I drive myself crazy” on ‘I Can See’ to being completely honest on ‘Complicated’ with “some people say they want to live forever. That’s way too long, I’ll just get through today”, he truly showed a raw part of him.
Every song shows a different side to who he is and also shows him getting more and more comfortable with singing on tracks. He was a very talented musician who was just finding his feet with experimentation and honing his own lane and sound as an artist.
The opening and title track ‘Circles’ is a stripped back and emotively raw moment that sets the tone for the whole record. It’s a little raw but that’s what makes it shine. ‘Everybody’ injects some jazz influences while ‘Hand Me Downs’ and ‘Surf’ steer towards a blues direction. But it’s the funk meets synth experimentation which will have you moving on ‘Complicated’ and ‘Blue World’ while the hip-hop roots of ‘Hands’ and ‘I Can See’ bring it all back full circle.
‘Swimming’ was a record that changed the game for him and ‘Circles’ certifies that he was really on a honest and pure drip as an artist. He was confidently searching for who he was and finding what he wanted his message and sound to be. But I think he found it within these records and I wish the world got to hear more of what he wanted to say.