In a tame but triumphant return, Mac Miller showcases a personal side as he always has with his music. From his rambunctious styling’s of an Oakland Shadow Lounge Teenager who cut his teeth with the likes of Pittsburgh’s underbelly. To the sold out tours around the world, there is something special about the Steel City Marauder. It could be seeing that he is from the similar backbone of the Pittsburgh artist, or maybe the way that he conducts himself on and off the stage, in any sense of the word; Mac Miller is a continuous force that proves he deserves where he is.
Standing on top of the world, looking down over the vast cities and oceans, the sea salt that is more of a refreshment than a sting is the world of Swimming. The more relaxed, more authentic instrumental focused release from Miller is a separate entity added on to his career. With a lengthy introduction entitled “Come Back To Earth”, Miller describes through a fractal lens that he “Needs a way out of his [my] head”. He is still the alternative report of an artist that equates to more than just a hip-hop focused prodigy. Swimming is an accurate display of all the memories growing with Miller through his missteps and our own personal mistakes. “Come Back To Earth” is a deeply-rooted journey that has a relative factor and segues in immaculate fashion toward “Hurt Feelings”.
It appears fairly quickly that Swimming is going to be a more laidback approach when compared to other previous releases from Miller. Focusing more on creating spacious instrumentation that reflects the clairvoyance coming from Mac Miller’s vocals, his production is the most vital key to the puzzle that is Swimming. It continues to paint the visuals for Swimming and does a vivid job throughout the sun-bleached instrumentation that is present on “What’s The Use?” or “Ladders”. Other tracks like “Self Care” showcase Miller’s previous experience in hip-hop production as he morphs these 808’s and rattling hi-hats to form one of the more memorable displays from Swimming.
He is still stylish, approachable, and ultimately transformative as Miller uses “Small Worlds” to paint a beachside conversation stating “The world is so small till it ain’t, I’m building up a wall till it break. She hate it when I call and it’s late, I don’t wanna keep you waiting” as Miller then dives into a personal insight of his humanity and the conflicting nature of his private and public life. “You never told me being rich was so lonely, nobody know me, oh well; hard to complain from this five-star hotel.” This is where “Small Worlds” can transfer well into one of the final tracks of “2009” where the instrumental alone is almost heartbreaking.
The orchestral strings that coagulate and become this overbearing force before Miller finally cuts the tension and becomes a shining example of his past clashing with his new found awareness. Miller creates a more authentic beauty behind his production and that works into the sun that glimmers over Swimming, touching upon the sea and showing a clear reflection in the water.