• Henry Nulf

Album Review: Mac Miller ‘Swimming’


Since August 2010, Mac Miller has been dropping everything from college to soulful jazz rap. All the while, always letting his joyful personality and love for music shine through.

On Sept. 7, he passed away following an overdose, only a month after the release of his album, “Swimming,” a project perfectly reflecting his versatility as an artist.

Following his very public relationship, followed by the breakup, the 13 tracks are filled to the brim with themes of love, heartache, drug use, and self-acceptance. The opening track, “Come Back to Earth”, touches on all of these topics. It is a melodic journey into the mind of newly-found optimism, while still battling past struggles. The raw emotions in the lyrics are almost haunting in hindsight.

“Hurt Feelings” continues the reflection on his mind with a much more traditional hip hop beat. Miller pursues his thoughts toward not wanting to change in the pursuit of success, yet reminds everyone who doubted him that he is in fact successful.

“Self Care” the album’s primary single, seems to provide more insight into the previously mentioned break up with Ariana Grande. It follows a downward spiral in his life leading to the end of something truly special. It’s very rare to see such a somber perspective be the end result of a toxic relationship, especially one that’s so enlightening and empathetic.

“2009” is an absolute tear-jerker, beginning with uplifting yet melancholic instrumentals straight out of heaven, leading into a nearly six-minute journey speaking on his career and the lessons he’s learned.

In its own tragic way, “Swimming” almost feels as though it’s Miller’s goodbye. In that regard it’s an absolutely devastating listen. However, in another sense it feels like a dive into the life of a brilliantly talented artist, with a turbulent career. Mac Miller has carved a legacy for himself that should be cherished and celebrated.

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