It’s a strange feeling listening to a posthumous album for the first time. It’s a rare gift that we get to hear something new from someone who’s passed. There’s a mix of excitement and sadness as you revel in that gift while also acknowledging it’s the last one you’ll receive. Mac Miller’s final studio album, Circles, is truly that–a gift.
Swimming, released just a month before Mac Miller’s passing, was his most aspirational album to date. He boasted a new level of optimism and self-awareness that made his fans want to adopt a similar attitude. It was clear after his passing how many people his music touched, and how deeply.
Circles gives fans a sense of closure following Miller’s unexpected death. It doesn’t feel right to critically review his final piece of work knowing he never got to reach the full limit of his potential made evident in Swimming. Of the album, Malcom’s family said, “This is a complicated process that has no right answer. No clear path. We simply know that it was important to Malcolm for the world to hear it.”
We’ll continue to listen to Circles and all proceeding albums with nothing butt respect for the talent that was Mac Miller, a talent lost just as its was beginning to bloom.