With a balanced new perspective comes a well-balanced variety of sounds. Longtime Mac Miller collaborators ID Labs contribute the bulk of the album’s diverse production, providing lush soul-stirring organs and a rich bass line on “Brand Name,” bombastic percussion on “When In Rome” and the ethereal synths of the album’s closing cut “Festival,” which features Little Dragon. Miller matches the range well, whether it’s crooning in his nasal Pittsburgh drawl on “ROS” or nimbly twisting words on “Cut The Check.” Not to be outdone on the aforementioned song, guest Chief Keef delivers clever one-liners like “I was posted with the hammer, y’all was telling’ po-lice / now I wrestle with the racks, b****, I’m Mick Foley.”
The most surprising, yet appropriate, guest appearance comes from Internet prophet Lil’ B on “Time Flies.” While Miller reflects on his experiences in the verses, the Based God waxes philosophic on the song’s choruses, pondering time and our place in it: “As we keep livin’ and keep bein’ positive, all we can do is hold on to these memories.” He’s right: time moves forward and moments are fleeting. For the new and improved Mac Miller we can only hope that his newfound clarity and moment in the sun will last a long time.
Mac Miller’s upcoming album and major label debut GOOD:AM is set to drop on September 18, but fans can listen to it now via stream on NPR. The 17-track album, which features appearances from Ab-Soul, Lil B, Miguel and Chief Keef opens with the Tyler, The Creator-produced “Doors.” And with Mac Miller singing, “Ain’t sayin’ that I’m sober, I’m just in a better place,” fans get to listen to the LP in its entirety after hearing the previously released “100 Grandkids,” “Break the Law,” and “Clubhouse.”
Listen above and pre-order GO:OD AM on iTunes now.