posted on: Thursday January 30, 2020
by Grace O’Connor ’22 A&E Staff
As stated by Rolling Stone, “Mac Miller’s posthumous album Circles is a fitting coda to his career.’’ Mac Miller’s new album was taken from bits and pieces of music that he was working on around the time of his death. Joe Brion, who Miller was working closely with, was able to complete the album “based on his time and conversation with Miller.” Circles encompasses both the pain and optimism that Miller experienced frequently.
The album is closely related to Miller’s life in that “it exists as a form of therapy; as he seeks to break out of old patterns of thinking, these steady reminders to embrace the present and let go of everything else,” according to Rolling Stone. Circles was Miller’s path to freedom and tells of a beautiful, yet tenacious battle that he faced with mental health for many years. The album represents an untold future and the increasing success that Miller was gaining in his later years.
In recent years, Miller topped the charts and was known for his determination to continually improve his career. Circles is the culmination of his drive and desire to create music that is meaningful to him and many of his loyal fans. At the time of Miller’s passing, he was just weeks short of going on tour which he had a tangible excitement about.
Brion completed Circles using Miller’s remarks as a guide of what he wanted the album to be. The album speaks of Miller’s legacy and is the mark that he left behind, showing his honesty, hope for the future, and his growth over the years.
Miller struggled with addiction and mental health, but in the last months of his life he was in good spirits. As claimed in a tweet from his family, “We simply know that it was important to Malcolm for the world to hear it. One of the most difficult decisions in the process is how best to let people know about it—how to communicate meaningfully while keeping sacred what should be kept sacred.”
The family requested that Brion see the album through and he kept the promise to the family. Brion tried to modify the songs as little as possible, giving the songs an authentic feel. He selected a number of songs that Miller played during sessions with Brion.
As said by Brion in an interview with NBC News, “There weren’t any thoughts I had to complete for him. The man could speak for himself.” Circles not only continued showcasing Miller’s talent, but acted as closure for millions of fans still searching for answers to an inexplicable tragedy.