It's certainly been a wild year for rapper Mac Miller on all ends, but his new album shows that he's taking it all in to be a better person. Mac Miller takes control of himself in Swimming, his new record with a lowkey vibe but a big message.
Miller starts off Swimming not all the way at the bottom, but somewhere in the middle. 'Come Back To Earth' begins the record sweetly, Miller half-singing and half-rapping as he gathers himself, picking himself back up and putting his pieces back together in order to return to the good times. The rest of the record is that swim from where he starts to the top by acknowledging the demons of his past. 'Hurt Feelings' follows with a dark beat but a confident hook, showing that his life's constantly changing, sometimes faster than he wants it to: "I'm always sayin' I won't change but / I ain't the same / Everything is different, I can't complain." 'What's The Use?' follows through with a more dejected, helpless vibe in the lyrics above a dark Bruno Mars-type funk: "Never superficial you don't know it when it hit you / Get a little sentimental when I'm off the juice." As Miller swims to the top, he sometimes starts sinking down to the bottom again.
The sound of Swimming is perhaps just as important as some of the lyrics. The beats are eclectic, each song having a distinctly different vibe. 'Perfecto' is dark and dramatic, while the next track, 'Self Care,' is more much joyous and euphoric. 'Small Worlds' is delivered somewhat awkwardly, as if Miller was uncertain of himself, which plays towards the idea of the record. 'Dunno' is more confident with its sweet beat and smooth delivery, followed by the great, fulfilling instrumental of 'Jet Fuel.' '2009' is more vintage and bittersweet, Miller stating starkly that "It ain't 2009 no more / Yeah, I know what's behind that door" as he recounts the time before he began his career. Now at the top, Miller gains new confidence and is ready to move forward, as he puts on a strong face and forges ahead in closing track 'So It Goes.'
Mac miller takes control of himself in Swimming, putting the slippery slope of life to music. Throughout Swimming, Miller faces everything: nostalgia, hope, relapse, and more. It's full of its ups and downs, as life always is. As much of a struggle as it is, Swimming is an album of perseverance: Miller may have almost drowned, but he found the power to swim back to surface and start again.
Favorite Track: Hurt Feelings
Least Favorite Track: Dunno
Rating: 71 / 100
Stream or buy Swimming on Apple Music, and follow our 2018 Playlist on Spotify: