Mac Miller’s Circles Album Review

On January 8th, the late rapper, songwriter, producer, and singer Mac Miller’s family made an announcement that his last album, Circles would be released on January 17th.

A month after the release of Swimming, Miller passed from an accidental overdose in September of 2018. Miller was already working on his companion album to his last release in order to complete his Swimming in Circles concept. While working on this album, Miller worked together with Jon Brion, who dedicated his work to finish Miller’s album for him.

Circles is filled with self reflection of past relationships, mental health and his battle with addiction. In songs such as “That’s On Me”, Miller focuses on accepting the mistakes he made in past relationships, along with showing growth and progress he was going through. He still suffered from mental health issues which is shown a lot in songs such as Complicated”  with lyrics, “Some people say they want to live forever / That’s way too long, I just get through the day.” These lyrics focus on taking each day by day, which shows that this isn’t only a phrase for his addiction issue, but also something that can express the way his depression changed his perspective on life. 

While being mainly known for his rapping, the majority of Circles is filled with Miller singing his songs. Miller’s style in music was constantly changing and always diverse, which is what made him so different than other artists in the rap industry. With his 2016 album, The Divine Feminine, Miller explored and solely focused on creating songs full of different vocals and jazz instruments which shocked his audience but created much deserved love and success. Circles is filled with many simple instrumentals of piano and guitar chords, while Miller and Brion had a vision to recreate songs to relate to certain artists such Randy Newman for “Everybody” and Jack Johnson for “Surf”.

While Circles was supposed to be the companion album to Swimming, an album that was filled with songs about his heartbreak and depression, Miller’s latest songs are what we have left of his final thoughts that he kept mainly to himself. While still aware of his constant struggles there is also a sense of growth and recovery that is shown in his newest album. With the song “Come Back To Earth” from Swimming, Miller sings, “Just need a way out of my head/ I’ll do anything for a way out of my head.” which is easy to compare to the lyrics of the song “Good News” from Circles, “I spent the whole day in my head/ Do a little spring cleaning”, showing his mental health growth.

The difference Mac Miller held on the rap industry is that he kept all of his songs honest. He showed the demons he faced that came with his success. He puts so much truth and emotion into his music and never failed to produce his lyrics with the best instrumental and music production. Circles is just one way that shows what Miller’s main goal always was, growth, in his own life and in his music. 


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