Mac Miller’s Swimming in Circles


On January 17th, 2020, late artist Mac Miller’s last project was released. Mac Miller had apparently planned to release his sixth album, Circles, before his death in September 2018, and finally on January 8th, 2020, his family posted a thank you to his fans and an explanation of how important the album was to him. 

Jon Brion, singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, had a big part of the album and wanted to finish and publish it for him.

The album is a sequel to his fifth album “Swimming,” and forms the saying “Swimming in Circles,” representing moving forward from struggles he dealt with. His main focus is all about overcoming your struggles and making the best out of bad situations.  

Circles” is currently #3 on the Billboard 200 Albums list for the week and #2 on the Genius charts for album of the week.

The album has twelve songs including “Circles,” “Complicated,” “Blue World,” “Good News,” “I Can See,” “Everybody,” “Woods,” “Hand Me Downs,” “That’s on Me,” “Hands,” “Surf,” and “Once a Day.” 

Circles,” the first song on the album, has a super slow tempo throughout the whole song. In this song Mac Miller said he felt like he was going in a continuous and never ending loop. He also said he tried to change and breakout of it but it seems impossible, but he was used to the feeling. 

The next song on the album, “Complicated,” is my favorite. It is up-beat and has a lot of melody and different sounds in the background like rings and bells. He explained how he wanted life to be less difficult, especially in his everyday life. He thought he was too young to feel like that everyday and wanted to go one day at a time for his self-bettering journey. 

Good News” was released on January 9th, 2020, as a short look into the album. It has a lot of drums and low bass. In this song, he explained that people only wanted him to pretend to be happy. He felt that he couldn’t be honest about his feelings because “good news” is all people wanted to hear. He wanted people to understand that he was deeper than a fake smile even if other people didn’t think it was that bad of a problem.

Another favorite of mine is “Hands.” It is the only traditional rap song on the album. It is up-beat and has a child-like vocal clip that plays in the background during the whole song. It is about him questioning why he did or didn’t do certain things. He knew he should take a break from all the stress and make time for himself. Also he said to not worry about the past or future, but instead live in the present. 

Surf” is very slow and has a lot of guitar, slow drums, and electric guitar. In the song he gave the listeners an inside of how he saw himself. He explained how he wanted to grow as a person and surround himself with positivity. He felt lonely at times but knew that there were people who were there for him. He said he still had room to grow and become the person he wanted to be.

Once a Day” is the last song on the album. It was originally an unreleased song, recorded on Mac Miller’s phone. It was played during the concert “Mac Miller: Celebration of Life.” It keeps a constant slow beat. He explained he took his days one at a time because he wanted to do it right. Also, he said he didn’t like to keep things in because that makes things worse and not doing what you really want to do leaves you with regrets. 

After listening to this entire album, I can say it is one of my favorites by him. He had such an extraordinary way of life and brought that through his music. I would strongly suggest anyone listen to this album and really take a moment to think about his words. It might not be for everyone, but he has definitely affected many people.