Circles- Mac Miller: A Review


Winta Tekle, Sahuaro News Editor

Circles by Mac Miller–a hard pill to swallow. Two years after his accidental drug overdose, this posthumous album is everything fans need to celebrate his life in the wake of grief.

Circles was originally intended to be a companion album to his prior album Swimming to create the concept of “Swimming in Circles”.

The album opener, “Circles”, is stripped bare. Mac opens with the verse, “This is what it looks like right before you fall”, words that take on an entirely new meaning in context with his death. It sets a tone of dejection and isolation for the entirety of the album. 

“Good News”, the single off the album, is sprinkled with pizzicato strings and groove, as Mac croons about morality. The song sounds like his inner monologue, with lyrics like “I wish that I could just get out my g*****n way” and “Why I gotta build something beautiful just to go set it on fire?” Mac leaves no room for interpretation; he was struggling. But as the song progresses, Mac changes his tone, exchanging negative thinking with optimism. He sings, “That there’s a whole lot more for me waiting/ That it ain’t that bad,” an ode to the strides he made to battle his depression and isolation. 

“Hand Me Downs”, the 8th song off the album, takes on a jazz-hop approach, where Mac sounds like a dejected lounge singer. He barely sings above a whisper, almost as if he’s too weary to try. 

Weariness, dejection, isolation are easy to pick out in Circles, and in Mac’s music as a whole. He allows his issues to take the forefront, whether it be songs about depression, drug addictions, hyper-sexuality, or talks of morality. It’s in-your-face intimacy. But his music gets misconstrued as only that, depression and despair, instead of his effort to find a solution to his depression.

His final track, “Once a Day” encompasses exactly that battle. He ends the album off with” I just keep waiting for another open door to come up soon”. Mac tells the world that he battles with depression and drug addiction, but despite that, he continues to fight.