So tired of being so tired.
EᗰᗷᖇᗩᑕIᑎG OᑎEᔕEᒪᖴ, ᑭᗩᖇT 3:
TᕼE ᗩᑕKᑎOᗯᒪEᗪGEᗰEᑎT Oᖴ ᖴEᗩᖇ, ᔕᗯIᗰᗰIᑎG - ᗰᗩᑕ ᗰIᒪᒪEᖇ
ᴛʜᴇ ᴀᴄᴄᴇᴘᴛᴀɴᴄᴇ ᴏʀ ᴀᴅᴍɪᴛᴛɪɴɢ ᴏꜰ ᴛʜᴇ ᴇxɪꜱᴛᴇɴᴄᴇ ᴏʀ ᴛʀᴜᴛʜ ᴏꜰ.]
Mac Miller was not one that would stray away from experiments. Long gone was his previous “frat rap” image, now after several critically and commercially acclaimed albums and mixtapes, Mac was an established artist. From the jazzy vibes of Larry Lovestein, the boldness of Faces, to the silkiness of The Divine Feminine, Mac constantly pushed boundaries. And to quote my father, “if a man is willing to push boundaries within artforms, why wouldn’t he do the same in his personal life?”
Drug addiction has always been a huge theme in Mac’s music, and it’s no less on Swimming. However, Mac has never been as laid-back on Swimming, and it’s a huge factor as to why I chose this album to write a review about. Although having similar themes, Swimming sounds much more lowkey than Faces. The lyricism is still there for some parts, e.g. Self Care, Small Worlds, but the kind of it-factor is gone. The beats are much more mellow. He’s acknowledging his fears because he’s already been through it a couple of times. Except for a certain aspect.
The breakup with pop star Ariana Grande was clearly heavily effective on Mac’s mental health, as one of the big reasons behind them parting ways was due to Mac’s addiction. The combination of all of this mess proved to be a bit too much for him to handle, as to quote him in Self Care, “Self care, I'm treatin' me right, hell yeah, we're gonna be alright.” The same kind of faith that comes from the adversity that could be found on Kendrick Lamar’s Alright, one that I made a review previously.
Sitting on a plane with a pink suit, face filled with frustration. The frustration that comes from being in a position between losing his mind and public perception proves to be the reason for his laid-back style - A clear attempt to be calming, as he’s done this before, and now he’s in a position in need again.
The romantic sound on the Divine Feminine was clearly attempted, the R&B sound visible on tracks like What’s the Use or Ladders, while the boldness of Faces was also attempted, like Self Care or Small Worlds, yet all of this seems… Not enough. The replica on Swimming seems to be inferior to his previous works. While it is a critique, I also see it as the apparent attempt of regaining the good times he’s had in the past, while having to keep a general level of cohesiveness. Hence why, the different callbacks of his previous records, yet all of it sounds ambiguous, and a mirage of his past. Bit poetic, don’t you think?
Swimming is an open confession of fear, with lyrics like “I been losin' my mind” on Self Care, “I wish it was nice out, but it looked like rain” on Come Back to Earth, it’s, of course, easy to relate, yet most tend to ignore the level of extent Mac was willing to let his depression to be heard. The voice perhaps we all should’ve been aware of and prevented the tragedy from striking.
Swimming is the only album in the series without a pleasant ending. While the album ends on a comparably sweet note, the same cannot be said in real life. I’m sure all of us know and are still mourning, the unfortunate passing of Mac Miller. It is truly a misfortune for everyone to have lost a man with such talent, and prospect, at such a young age. However, looking on the bright side of things, Mac in his final years, left us with some of the best albums to cope with mental problems, and Mac’s legacy will never be forgotten, as a lot of us, including myself, has had a better experience in the game we call life, due to Mac’s music. Swimming is far from perfect, just like Mac, yet it is beautiful, in the sense that it was a public acknowledgment of fear and depression, perhaps an act that a man is still pressured not to reveal. Thank you Mac, and thank you for all you’ve done on God’s green earth. Mac Miller, Swimming, the acknowledgment of fear.