Circles is the closure that fans have been hoping for since the tragic death of Mac Miller in September of 2018. Miller’s accidental overdose sent shockwaves throughout the entire music community; only a month after the release of Swimming, a moving and influential artist was gone, his career and impact on the world left unfinished.
Now, over a year later, Miller’s family made the decision to release the unfinished Circles posthumously in Mac’s honor. In a statement on Instagram, they wrote: “We simply know that it was important to Malcolm for the world to hear it…Thank you to all the fans who’ve supported him unconditionally through the years. We miss him. We are left to imagine where Malcolm was going and to appreciate where he was. We hope you take the time to listen. The look on his face when everyone was listening said it all.”
Circles acts as a part two to his previous album, Swimming. Jon Brion, who had previously worked on earlier versions of the songs with Mac, was committed to finishing the album. Circles is, in a sense, Mac Miller’s final goodbye.
The album shines with hints of optimism for a future self and career Mac Miller tragically never lived to see, but it also works as a beautiful testament to who he was as a person and artist.
Circles is an intimate and beautiful take into the mind of Mac Miller. Mac continues in following themes of depression, hope, and pushing through the struggles of life, all the while exploring his talents musically.
Circles is more musically diverse than previous albums, and possibly serves as a preview to the direction Mac had wanted to go in. While Circles pays homage to Miller’s hip-hop roots, critics have said that Mac included hints of other genres such as emo-rap, bedroom pop, synth-pop and more.
Personal favorites of mine are “Good News” and “Hand Me Downs”; they are soft, atmospheric beats that are as smooth as butter. These songs, and the rest on the album, are perfect for any and all occasions. Whether you’re on your morning commute or putting time aside for yourself, Mac Miller and Circles make the ideal soundtrack.
Whether or not you’re a Mac Miller fan, you owe it to yourself to give this newest album a listen. Mac speaks of things we all think and feel yet never say aloud. It is beautiful, tragic, and inspiring all in one.