‘Circles’: Mac Miller’s posthumous album

Karrington Oliver Volunteer Writer [email protected]

“Circles,” Mac Miller’s sixth studio album and first posthumous album is a 12-song collection that explores Miller’s mind with sorrowful optimism. 

“Circles” was released at midnight on Jan. 17, nearly two years after his 2018 album “Swimming.” After listening to the first single, “Good News,” I realized that this would be the best posthumous album I would ever hear.

“Good News” explores Miller’s battle with the negative thoughts he had, and how people around him always wanted to say that he was doing okay. He sings “ Good news, good news, good news, that’s all they wanna hear. No, they don’t like it when I’m down, but when I’m flying, oh…” which further explains that the people around him wanted to suppress his negative feelings and only wanted the good to be shown.

 “Circles” was a very hard album for me to listen to, but I am glad the music was released. The album is hauntingly beautiful, in the sense that it feels as if Miller is alive. It is produced and written very similarly to “Swimming” where he dealt with heartbreak and depression while trying to move forward with his life and develop self-love. I am also glad that this album was filled with completed songs and not just some hand-written songs strung together and produced for money, like some posthumous albums have been in the past. This album feels complete. 

 The album’s opening track, “Circles” made me extremely emotional. It started off with “Well, this is what it look like, right before you fall,” which, due to Miller’s circumstances, sounds like some sort of eerie foreshadowing. Miller often brought up death and dying in his previous songs. On Miller’s 2015 album “GO:OD AM,” in the track titled “Brand Name,” he mentioned that he hoped not to join the 27 club, a “club” of artists who died at 27, such as Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain, Jim Morrison, and Amy Winehouse, stating v“To everyone who sell me drugs, do not mix it with that bull… I’m hoping not to join the 27 club.” This line was very weird to go back and listen to considering he died from an accidental overdose on opioid pills laced with fentanyl four months before his 27th birthday. 

The tracks on “Circles” had several different meanings: from “Complicated,” a track that emphasized taking one day at a time, to “Blue World,” that talked about having a brighter and a more promising tomorrow to “I Can See,” a plea for help from Miller. He states “ I am in an oasis, well, I need somebody to save me before I drive myself crazy.” The album is extremely heartbreaking to hear. I had to skip some of the tracks and go back to them because they were just too much for me to handle.

I have not been a Mac Miller fan as long as some of my friends have, but the album impacted us just the same. I feel as if Mac Miller was just getting started; he was just beginning to define his music. His music has helped a lot of people get through their depression and other issues. His music inspired so many people and will continue to reach people generations from now. 

Even if you are not a Mac Miller fan, I think you would benefit from hearing the album and it would impact you in ways you could not imagine. I rate his album a 5 out of 5, and would rate it more if I could..