"Swimming" is the fifth studio album by American rapper Mac Miller. It was released on August 3, 2018 through Warner Bros. Records Inc.
After several months of headlines that focussed purely on his breakup with Ariana Grande and the DUI arrest that came shortly after, musically, Miller needed to get back into his groove. Luckily, his fifth record does just that; ‘Swimming’ is his best work in years.
Opening with the lilting ‘Come Back To Earth’, Miller dives straight into a bold new sonic stratosphere. All gorgeous layered vocals accompanied by trickling piano lines and gauzy synthesised sounds, it’s a world away from the frat rap of his earliest releases. Instead it borrows from the shimmering instrumentals of his previous record, combining them with trippy beats. This new sound is pushed even further in the following track ‘Hurt Feelings’, a brutally honest response to the controversy surrounding the rapper over the past months. “I’m always saying I won’t change, but I ain’t the same / Everything is different, I can’t complain” he lackadaisically raps over sultry beats and restrained backing vocals. It’s reserved and relaxed.
‘Swimming’ isn’t what you would have expected from Miller when he first started dropping mixtapes over a decade ago, but that doesn’t matter. This album shows his growth as both an artist, and as aa person who’s had to deal with the most private aspects of their life being publicly dissected. It’s a stellar – if somewhat overlong – artistic statement.
Reviewed by Hannah Mylrea for nme.com. User Comments