New Mac Miller album is intriguing, but not memorable

New Mac Miller album is intriguing, but not memorable

Mac Miller, now four albums into his discography, has officially moved from internet mixtape wiz kid to mainstream, well-known rapper. This is apparent on his latest record, The Divine Feminine, that features Kendrick Lamar, CeeLo Green and new girlfriend Ariana Grande.

This album is almost at that sweet spot of lyrical and musical elegance, and for some, it may be there. It toys with the themes of love, beauty, relationships, and that’s pretty much it. I specifically say “toys” because Miller doesn’t get into these themes much further than the average modern pop album ever has.

This may be intentional; from the funk instrumentation and simple lyrics, this album garners the kind of happy-go-lucky and blissful mindset a dazed and in love 15-year-old boy might have. This album essentially is Miller’s love treatise to his new girlfriend, and women in general. Don’t expect any revelations on the concept of love or complex relationships, but if you are just looking for some easy love songs, this album will be an enjoyable listen.  

In terms of production and sonic aspects, this is Mac Miller’s best work so far. The producers, writers and musicians he gathers on The Divine Feminine show a great amount of thought that went into this album’s sound. From Bilal Oliver, Tae Beast, and Dâm-Funk, Miller recruits some authentic and accomplished modern funk and R&B artists for this album. I love many musical moments on this album, but there aren’t enough of these moments to make me love this album as a whole.

Many songs, “Cinderella,” “Planet God Damn,” and “God Is Fair, Sexy, Nasty,” despite their lengthy runtimes, seem like incomplete thoughts that end in random ways. The chill, blissful approach to the subject matter and instrumentals doesn’t always translate in structurally strong songs. This album may be best enjoyed played in the background, where the flaws are not put on full screen. Also, I find the blatant influence of Chance the Rapper, his band The Social Experiment, especially trumpeter Donnie Trumpet, too close to ripoff on the song “Stay.”

One of the few times all the pieces come together is on “My Favorite Part,” featuring Ariana Grande. The beautiful guitar and piano lines softly filled the corners while the thudding bassline keeps the song moving along. Miller’s almost lispy croon and Grande’s fantastic voice work excellent together to create a truly sweet and blissful track.

Bottom line: Miller pulls together an impressive group of features and producers, but the lyrics and structure of most songs aren’t memorable due to the excessive carefreeness of their execution.