Mac Miller moves away from his “Donald Trump shit” into a deeper, more developed aesthetic in his newest album, GO:OD AM. The rapper evolves from his frat-boy persona found in previous albums, and uses his recent struggles with addiction — briefly discussed in his last mixtape, “Faces” — to explore a more lyrical avenue that adds depth to the album. These new additions chart Miller’s progress and could surely increase his following.
Miller loads his album with famous celebrities, adding to his stardom and broadening his audience. His collaborations with artists such as Tyler the Creator and Miguel have helped Miller explore a more sophisticated sound while retaining his upbeat energy. Many beats on the album are soothing and resemble his track, “Avian,” as opposed to one of his first hits, “Frick Park Market,” which was known for its energy. This subdued tone works well with his upgraded image.
Miller’s voice and lyrics finally receive more attention in tracks such as “Clubhouse” and “Cut the Check” as opposed to being overshadowed by antics and energy. Though the more subdued vibe may throw fans off, his new sound seems to be more in line with successful artists in the same genre of pop rap, and Miller still finds a way to weave his energy into these mixes.
Miller even addresses his growth in “Jump.” He states, “Wish I knew back then all the things I know now.” And while this may be his first approach to step away from rapping about superfluous fame, he still falls short when compared with other lyrically acclaimed artists in rap such as Childish Gambino or Eminem. In fact, there are a few songs on GO:OD AM that missed the mark.
While Miller’s beat in “Weekend” with Miguel compliments his sound instead of fighting against it, tracks such as “Break the Law” and “God Speed” are out of place next to slower tracks. Prior to GO:OD AM, Miller’s rapping often competed for attention when paired against such intricate beats. However, his new album directs the focus to both the beat and the lyrics as opposed to forcing the attention on one aspect.
Though the lyrical quality of “Break the Law” and “God Speed” are commendable, the heavy sound is displaced in comparison to the rest of the album. It almost seems like he is retracting to his older, younger and more immature sound even though the lyrics themselves are in line with his new aesthetic.
Miller’s struggle with drugs and growing up provided an outlet to create art with meaning as opposed to something simply catchy. Fans can finally get a taste of the artist’s actual life instead of the persona he put forth in old tracks such as “Knock Knock” and “Donald Trump.” While it would have been easy for Miller to contact celebrities such as Ariana Grande to easily climb the Top 40 ladder, the artist explains how important it is for him to reveal his growth and progress in GO:OD AM.
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