GRAPHIC BY DENISE THUONG
By CLAIRE LAW
Enjoy the best things in your life cuz you ain’t gonna get to live it twice.”
On Jan. 17, Warner Records posthumously released Mac Miller’s long-awaited album: Circles.
Sadly, Mac Miller passed away at the young age of 26 on Sep. 7, 2018, caused by an accidental drug overdose. Due to this incident, he unfortunately left his work unfinished. However, composer-producer Jon Brion was committed to finishing the album after Miller’s death.
Essentially, Circles was said to be the companion piece of Miller’s previous album Swimming, which debuted in 2018. Additionally, the 12 songs included in the album reflected the late rapper’s mental health and his journey of working through depression. The concept of the album is based on the idea of Miller going around in “circles,” meaning that he feels as if he has not experienced definitive progress in his life.
Essentially, the album’s meaningful lyrics, catchy beats and unique cinematography combine to create a huge hit in the music industry.
Firstly, the lyrics portray a significant message in every song of the album. In the seventh song titled “Woods,” the key lyrics of the song are “Heartbreak will you leave you bankrupt/ Too many days in a day, better wake up.” In this song, Miller explains how he put a lot of effort into a past romantic relationship and realizes that it takes even more energy to put it back together. In other words, Miller wanted to convey how you can end up losing all your money trying to fix a broken heart. This is relatable since many people have or eventually will go through the same experience.
Continuing on the path about his romantic relationship, Miller produced his ninth song of the album, “That’s On Me.” The key lyrics of this song, “And I don’t know where I have been lately but I been alright/ I said good morning this morning and I’ll say goodnight” represent how Miller’s relationship ended, but it is now time to get over it. Furthermore, he takes full responsibility for the mistakes he has made and why the relationship ended.
Additionally, the catchy beats slowly set the mood for every song in Circles. The third song, “Blue World” is Miller’s funkiest and eeriest song in the album. According to MTV News, the news production division of MTV, throughout the song, it seems as if Dr. Manhattan, a fictional character who appears in DC Comics, and eight clones are yelling into an echoing cave. With a slightly uptempo, yet endlessly dynamic backdrop built around divine voices, Miller refuses the temptation and shouts out his resilience of depression. Furthermore, this song is a high point that brings some positivity and joy to the listeners.
Moreover, “Everybody” features more of Miller’s singing as opposed to his rapping. In the ballad, the background instrumentals combine with Miller’s voice to portray that we all rise and fall in making the most out of our lives. Subsequently, the artist is also very honest and open in this piece as he looks at the facts of life that everyone will eventually pass away.
Furthermore, the beautiful cinematography portrayed the struggles Miller underwent not only as an artist, but a human being. Miller’s fifth song “I Can See,” has the most extravagant visuals compared to his other songs in Circles. This song “I Can See” is a vast, cosmic, mirage-like song about figuring out what’s real and fake. Moreover, Miller contemplates calling for help as he realizes that life is really just a dream and can not be taken for granted.
In essence, Miller’s album includes more of a relaxed style of rap, making him different from the stereotypical rappers.
Although Miller’s music is different from other artists’, it shows that he has his own kind of music style. Rather than following trends in a popular culture, his work remained authentic all throughout his career.
All in all, Circles portrayed the iconic life of Miller beautifully by incorporating memorable lyrics, catchy beats and bizarre cinematography within his music videos.
Mac Miller will always be remembered and it is evident through his powerful new album.