Mac Miller - Circles
Critic Score
Based on 16 reviews
2020 Ratings: #41 / 365
User Score
2020 Ratings: #13
Liked by 105 people
January 17, 2020 / Release Date
LP / Format
Warner / Label
Neo-Soul, Pop Rap / Genres
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CRITIC REVIEWS

100
The Independent

Like its predecessor, ‘Swimming’, the album is drenched in languorous grooves and buzzy synths – only here, Miller sounds more at peace with himself.

90
Exclaim!

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.

90
Sputnikmusic

On Circles, Mac Miller found his heaven, and it looked a lot like everyday life with the simple things.

90
The Young Folks

Circles is an occasionally tragic but as a whole comforting farewell to one of the most unique artists in rap history.

80
The Guardian

Circles continues Miller’s searching musical journey, adding elements of soft rock, pop and more to emo-rap: the result is beguiling and natural.

80
NME
The late rapper, who died in 2018, is subject to a moving tribute that underlines the stunning progress he achieved in his short career.
80
Northern Transmissions

While the songs are among some of the best he has crafted, Circles fits in perfectly to Miller’s oeuvre and will possibly give some of his most ardent fans a chance to say goodbye.

80
HipHopDX

Circles may be a culmination of the sounds Miller had been working towards, but it’s also his most intimate and vulnerable project, filled with a collection of sounds that range from synth-heavy bedroom pop like the track “Woods” to the Plastic Ono Band-inspired “Everybody.”

80
The Needle Drop

Circles is the finest musical send-off any Mac Miller fan could have asked for.

80
The Observer

If Swimming felt contemplative, Circles feels even more like a singer-songwriter album than a hip-hop joint – a tendency most likely amplified by Brion’s treatments.

80
Albumism

The music on Circles is the sound of Miller plunging into change. Not quite a straightforward hip-hop record but not quite an R&B album, it is a mix of his own interests and what they could’ve morphed into.

80
Clash
Despite the sadness that clearly surrounds this project there is plenty of positivity: the production of the album is impeccable, and the overwhelming message that shines through is of hope for the future
74
Pitchfork

The first posthumous album from Mac Miller plays like a companion piece to Swimming. It’s an optimistic epilogue to the life of an aspirational artist.

70
Rolling Stone

For Miller, Circles exists as a form of therapy; as he seeks to break out of old patterns of thinking, these steady reminders to embrace the present and let go of everything else to form a new pattern: a means of resilience, and maybe even a path to liberation.

70
AllMusic

If Miller hadn't passed, Circles would be an insightful, focused addition to his strong late-era catalog, shining a necessary light on emotional and mental health struggles and sobriety through his deeply reflective lyrics and the wonderfully enjoyable and warm production work by Brion. Instead, it's yet another reminder of lost potential and a life cut tragically short.

Inglume
82
Encased in lush, warmingly touching instrumentation, exquisite charm and mellow introspection, Circles is everything a posthumous album should be: fulfilling an artist's intended vision and completing the important final touches to a closing chapter when they're spiritually not with us. With much delicate care, it is truly the appropriate finale of Mac Miller's career.

As an outsider who finds difficulty in truly investing myself in Mac's music, Circles serves as perhaps that rare moment of ... read more
WhatTheFunk
76
Perfect closure.

Over the last decade, posthumous releases have tended to be absolute disasters. In many cases, the labels have simply put together a bunch of unfinished songs, added a ratty production, released them to the public without much concern for artistic legacy and made a lot of money (eh, Cleo and Empire?). I'm honestly relieved that "Circles" doesn't belong in this category. Mac worked hard on this record until his death, and finally the task of completing its production ... read more
Beeyyaahh
90
Edit: Yeah, it’s not just a fantastic send-off, but it’s the culmination of his gradual maturation as an artist through the years. A fulfilled vision that I have all the respect and admiration for.

A posthumous album done right. Everything is handled with care on Circles, and it’s the sweetest send-off someone could have in a time of such turmoil.

Circles, and it’s companion album, are times where Mac’s heavy reflection on mortality, family, friends, and love ... read more
TreyLikesBands
94
Amazing

“Circles” follows the same funky, soulful sound seen on “Swimming”, but adds another level of instrumentation that breaks the mold and never disappoints. Mac’s subdued delivery and poignant, disheartening lyricism aren’t just sad. They are completely heartbreaking and carry this album to its final goal: a spectacular send off to a spectacular artist’s discography. Thank you Mac❤️

Color: Blue
FAV TRACKS: all of them!
LEAST FAV: n/a
RakkSmells
86
Take notes, XXXTENTACION's label. This is how you actually respect a late artist's legacy, although I don't think that's your goal anyway. But onto the album itself.

As the follow up album to Swimming, Mac steers more in a soul direction with elements of soft rock, while still keeping his signature style and aesthetic, and in the process even delivers some of his best songs to date. I'd say this is even better than Swimming as it's more engaging throughout and the new sound palette just makes ... read more
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Track List

  1. Circles
  2. Complicated
  3. Blue World
  4. Good News
  5. I Can See
  6. Everybody
  7. Woods
  8. Hand Me Downs
  9. That's on Me
  10. Hands
  11. Surf
  12. Once a Day
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Added on: January 8, 2020