Published Jan 20, 2020There is so much potential for disaster on posthumous albums. But Circles, the final effort from the deeply missed Mac Miller, sets a new standard for how albums like this should be done.
Though Miller didn't get a chance to finish Circles before he died in 2018 at age 26, thankfully, nothing about the album feels incomplete. Collaborator Jon Brion takes the helm for much of Circles, and does a fantastic job of maintaining a sense of purity throughout the project. He lets Miller shine through haunting, unembellished production, and along with other contributors like E. Dan, David x Eli and Disclosure's Guy Lawrence, facilitates an intimate and direct conversation between Miller and his listeners. It's a devastating, but ultimately satisfying journey.
Given the circumstance, every lyric Miller utters feels heavy and raw; each phrase is an eerily prophetic double entendre. His gruff vocals hold pain and weariness as he reflects on his struggles and challenges. Yet, however difficult it might be to ingest his candour, there is also a maturity about Miller in which to take solace. There's a sense of growth and lessons learned. These are the marks of a life well-lived, however short. (Warner)