"I just need a way out of my head, I'll do anything for a way out / of my head." R.I.P. Mac Miller. Swimming is his 5th album, and it's a sombre look at the inner workings of the troubled-but-beloved rapper. His very high-profile break-up w/ Ariana Grande as well as a DUI arrest serve as the inspiration for most the 13-tracker, and he reflects on his struggles with drugs, mental health, and other troubles over silky instrumentals. Dam-Funk, Flying Lotus, Dev Hynes, DJ Dahi, Jon Brion, + Miller himself as Larry Fisherman handle production w/ help from a slew of others, and Thundercat also lays down ultra-funk basslines on some of the tracks. Regarding the work, Miller has said that he is "just talking about things" he is "afraid of, or things that are just thoughts and emotions." He delivers his thoughts and emotions through calm-but-intricate raps and melancholy-tinged singing (glad he is leaning into more singing after 2016's The Divine Feminine), and despite the arching sadness, there are glimpses of positivity & optimism, as it is clear that Miller is longing for for healing, growth, and self-love, regardless of how slow that process to might be. It would have been interesting to hear his follow-up project.
- music label: Warner Bros. Records 2018
reviewed by pocari papi 11/18