Review: “Swimming” Is Edgy and Beautiful

Mac Miller's Album: Swimming

Natasha Thomas, Reporter

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Filled with complex melodies and insightful lyrics, Mac Miller’s latest release “Swimming” leaves awe in its wake. Mac had always deviated from the mainstream as an artist but rather than hindering his performance it had secured the love and respect of millions of fans. He continued this signature uniqueness but this time with begrudging self-reflection of his trials with love, depression, and the weights of fame. The beginning to his new track list, “Come Back to Earth,” set the tone for an album filled with simple truths and a surprising amount of vulnerability as he called for a way “out of [his] head.”

Through the songs that followed, he released his experiences with continuity and unavoidable change using sculpted metaphors of “driving with [his] eyes closed” and “missing all the signs,” depicting himself navigating the abyss of fame and riches with little care for direction. A very accurate portrayal of himself, his willingness to promote this carefree lifestyle added a lightness to his music that drew his listeners in as a relaxed escape from their lives. The ebbs and flows of his trials and errors are embodied through the shifts of his album’s mood, moving from choppy, high energy beats like “What’s The Use,” to smooth, mellow moods in songs like “Perfecto.” Constantly changing in pace, harshness, and style, Mac’s variations kept every song fresh and his consumers free from boredom from the beginning of his lyrical pool to the end.

Under the pseudonym Larry Lovestein, Mac produced funky, edgy beats paired with polished vocals that had a vibe reminiscent to the 70s. Although he used a different name, we see similarly bluesy-tinged songs in “Swimming,” particularly in the song “What’s The Use” where he utilized sweeping rhythms and deep bass to accompany sandy vocals. It may seem out of place in a hip-hop album, but its presence added significantly to the diversity of sounds that Mac was able to harness. The most significant contribution to the distinctiveness of his music was his crafty use of classical instruments infused into his beats. In much of Mac’s music—both old and new—you’ll find his usage of bold piano notes, bare percussions, and simple guitar giving his sound extra vitality, and this is not lost in his recent release. All of the little accents woven throughout the music itself as well as the honesty and flow of his lyrics contributed to make “Swimming” a cohesive, entrancing, and respectable addition to Mac’s musical archive.

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