A final goodbye

Mac Miller releases posthumous album “Circles”

Over a year since his passing, Mac Miller has released his posthumous album, Circles. The album gives old fans and new listeners alike a chance to hear Mac Miller’s music one last time. Released on January seventeenth, the project is 48 minutes long and spans twelve songs.

“Good News,” released as a single a week before the full project, was indicative of Circles’ sound. Mac Miller’s quiet, slightly raspy voice discusses daily life. “Well it ain’t that bad/It could always be worse,” the Pittsburgh native croons, alluding to him trying to find happiness in his life.

“Blue World,” features a sample at the beginning that then becomes the basis for the track’s instrumental. While the song is uptempo, there is an underlying message of melancholy. Another highlight from the album, “I Can See,” has synths that seem slightly psychedelic. They yield for Mac Miller to muse about the reality of life (“And now I know if life is but a dream then so are we”) only to return intermittently throughout the song. Similar to “Blue World,” there is an undertone of melancholy coupled with the beauty of Miller’s voice and the instrumental.

The songs can be repetitive. In most every song, Mac Miller sings about what it means to be alive. Furthermore, his bluesy voice sticks to the same flow on most songs. This creates the sense of a formulaic approach to the creation of Circles. Given that the album is posthumous, it is forgivable. Additionally, the formula results in great songs for a majority of the album.

Miller’s ability to convey emotion with his voice is showcased on “That’s on Me.” The chorus (“That’s on me, that’s on me, I know”) and the minimal guitar it is accompanied by creates a melancholy tone further emphasized by Miller’s breathy and soft voice.

Given the context of Miller’s drug overdose, the lyrics about Miller trying to understand the meaning of the world and his life is particularly saddening. Circles is a bittersweet listen; Miller’s lyrics are often sorrowful, and his death gives the words more weight. But the many great songs on the album are the silver lining.