Nearly two months after the rapper’s death, Mac Miller’s latest album Swimming is still listed on music charts all over media platforms. The album released only a month before his untimely death but resonated so clearly with many people. Titled Swimming, the album ultimately gives the overview of how Miller made it through life’s obstacles, came out safe and is now treading through life. His previous albums leading up to his last give a timeline of how Miller went from an upcoming teenage rapper to dealing with addictions as well as relationships, ending with the eerily peaceful finale that is Swimming.
The album focuses on himself bouncing back from previous hardships such as his battle with drugs and ultimately failed relationships. Going from more of a hip-hop essence like in previous albums to a jazzy-alternative style was a nice step for him. Songs such as “2009” and “Dunno” are of a smooth sound unlike anything Miller has produced before which I personally enjoyed the most from his latest album. The soft piano and stringed instruments gave Miller a chance to delve into the softer side of himself, admitting his faults and how he was continuing on with life.
The overall sound of the album is something that you can automatically connect with and just have an easy listen. Listening to Miller explain how his failed relationships took a toll on him and his actions is stunning in such a peaceful way. Each song offers a new story of an experience/triumph, ultimately tying into the theme that he has found relief in some form and is working to stay afloat.
It has been speculated that Mac’s death was purposeful due to the video for his song “Self Care”, which features him carving the words “Memento Mori” which means death is imminent. Personally, I feel that the album was a perfect goodbye and farewell to the artist.
Compared to his other albums which dive specifically into his issues and defeating his own demons, Swimming is how Miller steadily escapes his own entrapment of the mind, which is produced beautifully. I have enjoyed nearly everything he has released but Swimming just speaks to the soul a little differently. The connection he makes between his mistakes and the consequences and how he processes those thoughts is something that everyone can relate to in some way or another. Whether you enjoy music in general or the underlying tones that are often present, this is an album that fits so many aesthetics. I choose to often listen to “2009” more than any other song because of the hurt you can feel in Miller’s voice, which isn’t something often shown by rappers today. It seems as though this production gave Miller the opportunity to release his true feelings on the world and his attitude on life, which is often very transparent in some songs.
Ultimately, Swimming is Miller’s best album (in my opinion) simply because of how it speaks to people. If you haven’t listened to it yet, I would definitely recommend it!
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