The late Mac Miller’s “Circles” brings an emotional final project to career


Elijah Ewing

Circles is an introspective album that features smooth bass lines and heartfelt verses that show Mac Miller’s frustration transformed and turned into verses. 

The album starts with the title track, “Circles”. Miller raps about how he can’t be changed and how he ends up going in circles. This theme of change and opportunity is seen throughout. 

Other examples of change come from songs like “Complicated”. Miller raps: 

“Some people want to live forever,

That’s way too long, I’ll just get through today.”

These are powerful lyrics that give insight to the mindset Miller was in when writing and creating the album. 

Miller was producing “Circles” in 2018 as a companion piece to his 2018 album, “Swimming,” before his untimely death in late 2018. The album was finished by producer, Jon Brion, who had been working with Miller since “Swimming”.

“Circles” isn’t perfect. At some points in the album, the background music is loud and drowns out Miller’s vocals, which is the reason we’re all listening. An example of this would be “Blue World”. Some other criticisms would be how hard it is to understand Miller at times, as some verses are incomprehensible. 

Some songs I liked would include, “Complicated,” for the jazzy upbeat bassline throughout the track with heartfelt lyrics. Other songs I liked were “Hand Me Downs,” for the soft beat and upbeat vocals it brings.

This album is not for turning your function into a party but more for the midnight drive with your close friends. The whole album will have you thinking about your own personal struggles and optimisms for the future. 

“Circles” shows a very raw side of Miller. While it’s an emotional end of his discography, it’s missing some experimental aspects that make Millers music exciting and unique. I would recommend this album to not just hip hop lovers, but those who want to listen to an album about a man’s struggle with himself. 

⅘ stars


Elijah Ewing can be reached at [email protected]