Mac Miller - Swimming
Mac Miller has been through some shit in the past year. A public drug and alcohol issue, a breakup from his girlfriend songstress Ariana Grande and the icing on the cake? She very publicly started an absurd Hypebeast relationship with millennial comic Pete Davidson. This album Swumming when listened to in those contexts makes a lot more sense. The album feels so much like it's Mac trying to make sense of a crazy world, and finding peace in it. The theme of "swimming" makes appearances throughout, but rather than trying to stay afloat Miller finds swimming as a great alternative to drowning. He isn't trying to say He is at his healthiest mentally, but He's trying. Swimming becomes a record that is actually nice, smooth and has an accessibly message. You want Mac Miller to win when you listen to this record and not because of his flossing but, because of his vulnerability. It's never over the top, and the braggadocios persona has taken a backseat to a more honest Miller. Even beats feel classic here; He isn't reaching for some sound that isn't his on this album, He finds his lane and stays in it. You'll find yourself buying in to this record, falling in with the sentiments and vibe yet Mac's biggest continues to be his voice.
On songs like "What's the Use?" Miller drops into a crooning style, peppered with rap, but good god does his voice fucking suck. It sounds like something is constantly in his mouth, and his drawl is so pronounced. MAc as the wounded artist is much more compelling than the flossing gang banger. The album is missing some kind of lightness though, by the sixth song you've had quite a bit of Mac's melancoly and some kind of switch would be nice. "Wings" has this really diverse electronic beat that is almost experimental, but god does it drag. You want Miller to move things along, pick up some kind of space but you are left waiting. I get that this is is "blue" album but some kind of pacing shift would help it out so much. "Ladders" does this slightly, but with a beat that is been done and one of Mac's least compelling lyrical performances. "Dunno" is a strange meandering interlude that sways into the SPanish realm of things, which feels a bit clunky and unneeded. Because the album crawls so much it feels a lot longer than it's 58 minute run time, yet still it really remains endearing. There is a lot to like about this album, and this new side of Mac Miller, but in the end you're going to have to get past his voice. Some people won't be able to, myself included.
7.0 out of 10