Mac Miller

This is an album where the expression “speaking from the grave” carries more weight than usual. Mac Miller, a Pittsburgh native and hip hop artist, died two years ago aged 26 from a drug overdose. It was initially thought to be a suicide, but three men have since been charged with supplying him with cocaine and oxycodone pills laced with fentanyl. Murder trials notwithstanding, Miller’s final, posthumous album Circles is a fitting end to what was once a promising career. Because much of the album was brought to life by producer Jon Brion after Miller’s death, the arrangements have a work-in-progress feel. But I like that. Its rawness carries power, especially in Miller’s confessional vocal delivery. There are elements of Beck splashed here and there, especially in terms of the mixed-genre approach to songwriting. But Miller also recalls another musical hero: Chet Baker. Soft voice, smooth vibes, and sadly, too many drugs.


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