‘Circles’ promotes love and peace in a time when it’s needed most

2020 has truly proven itself to be the year of successful posthumous albums

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Ali Smith, staff writer

Peace.
This is what fans, and even strangers to Mac Miller’s music, can feel when they listen to his posthumus album “Circles,” which was released in January.
When Miller was developing his 2018 album “Swimming,” he consulted Jon Brion, who eventually went on to produce what was thought to be Miller’s last album. When “Circles” was released, Brion engaged in an interview with Apple Music, where he opened up about how the album came to life.
Brion said in his interview that when they were working together on “Swimming,” there were a few songs Miller simply did not know what to do with.
These songs became “Circles.”
The tranquil album features a number of soothing and unique instruments, such as a cymbal and a vibraphone, which contribute greatly to the vibe Miller and Brion were intending to create from the musical pieces.
Miller, as most of his fans know, had long suffered with inner demons and the pressures of the outside world.
This album does touch on the subject of his mental pain, which kind of gives his admirers a sense of stillness in knowing what he was battling before his death.
The album begins with the song “Circles,” which sets the peaceful mood and relaxed tone that are carried throughout the album.
In this song, Miller does a great deal of self-reflection and doubts in his ability to change the heavy parts of himself.
“Complicated” and “Good News,” the next two songs on the album, harmonize with the attitude established in “Circles,” and have much to say about the world around us, and how Miller viewed it.
Life is complicated, and as Miller suggests, sometimes it is illuminating to just sit back, slow down and accept life as it is in the present.
In “Good News,” he also touches on the subject of positivity culture, where you are expected to only share the positives of your life, which we see potently on social media platforms.
Moving sequentially, Miller wrote “I Can See.” This song is simply a work of lyrical genius and gives even more insight into his internal conflict preceding his death.
“That’s on Me” is a lullaby-like song, which helps break up the more serious lyrics and add to the tranquility of the album.
For his next track, Miller wanted to make it big, which is exactly what Brion did with “Hands.”
To close the album, Brion chose “Once a Day,” which is my personal favorite from the album, and all of Miller’s works.
When this track was introduced to Brion, it was just Miller, his piano and his story, which Brion shamelessly admits brought him to tears. This song surfaces questions that Miller internalized as well as the exhausting routine we all get caught in the rut of.
I think that this song, this album, challenges us, fans or not, to move forward with peace and change in our hearts.
We cannot let our demons overtake us, and we should allow our struggles to transform into the art they are.
I am so grateful for the peace this album has brought to me as well as Miller’s fans, friends and family in terms of his death, but I am also filled with gratitude for the lessons about life, love and loss this album carries through its calming, imaginative melody.