Album Review: Mac Miller – Watching Movies With The Sound Off

“But sill got some dumb ass fans who wants kids back, and I forget that they 12 years old, I must accept that, probably stop thinking so much and just rap”, that was taken off one of Macs soundcloud songs under the name of Larry Fisherman entitled ‘Doodling In The key Of C Sharp’, where a flurry of tracks was released between his last album ‘Blue Slide Park’ and his latest ‘Watching Movies With The Sound Off.’ These, alongside the mixtape ‘Macadelic’, really tell the transition period between the Mac Miller who burst onto the scene as a happy go lucky 18 year old, to the Mac Miller we see now. As Mac has admitted in interviews this was a somewhat depressing time for him, going on long hard countrywide tours without seeing family, but more importantly trying to find himself as a person and his place in the industry. WMWTSO is the culmination of that transition period as Mac looks to redeem himself for past pop/rap songs, and to try and shake off the ‘teenage girl’ demographic of fan that he had accumulated. It was a massive risk as that is the fanbase that has made him so big and got his name out there, and with people so eager to pigeonhole and judge off past merits, who knew if the hardcore rap fans would take notice anyway. Well, luckily they did, and what they would have heard is a brilliant piece of work from a young rapper evolving into a very deep and complex lyricist. The album has a distinct hippy kind of feel about it, with nature and smoking weed being prominent themes that run throughout. From the outset on the first song ‘The Star Room’ we can tell his change, the messages and style he now wants to convey and his frustration, take the lyrics as examples ‘think I’m living paradise what I have to worry about, dealing with these demons feel the pressure find the perfect style’ and ‘haven’t picked a major label think I’m blackboard, I still aint got the heart to pick the phone up when my dad calls, will he recognise this song when he hears my voice.’

From then on Mac leads us on a journey through his mind, delving into several issues that are both personal and external, with input from fellow rappers Ab-Soul, Action Bronson, Schoolboy Q and Jay Electronica. The album is smooth and is definitely a more focused piece of work from Mac, you can tell by the way each track flows into eachother, the timing of the ad-libs and the lyrical content the effort that he has been put into the project, which really comes across. He also shows that he is not just a good rapper, but that he can also sing, with tracks ‘Objects InThe Mirror’ and ‘REMember.’ This album is a huge leap in artistry compared to previous efforts, and for Mac a big step in the right direction for the kind of audience he wants to attract. Having already made a name for himself in the producing side of things, and just wholly produced Vince Staples new album ‘Stolen Youth’, it looks like the future is certainly bright for Mac, with big things about to happen on the horizon.


First published: June 26, 2013


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