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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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The Battalion May 4, 2024

‘GO:OD AM’ not to be missed

Mac+Miller
PROVIDED
Mac Miller

Mac Miller’s been through a lot since his phenomenal and weird album “Watching Movies with the Sound Off.” He released the melancholy mix tape “Faces” in the midst of a drug addiction, sold his mansion in Los Angeles to move in with his supportive older brother and girlfriend in New York and signed a $10 million record deal with Warner Bros. Most recently, he created the energetic “GO:OD AM,” turning over a new leaf for himself musically.

It’s still Mac — that was my first thought after I listened to the album once. It’s still the young crazy kid from Pittsburgh whose music I have come to love ever since his days in high school. Mac Miller has created his own brand, sitting in the middle of the eccentricity of Odd Future, the fun frat rap of Hoodie Allen and the thug intensity of fellow rap artist A$AP Rocky. Mac Miller has evolved so much since the single “Donald Trump,” both lyrically and as an artist who does his own thing.

In comparison to his last album “Watching Movies with the Sound Off,” this is the sunrise after the dark night. With exceptions “GO:OD AM” possesses more conventional beats and verses — it’s more mainstream, and more playful. WMWTSO is like drinking wine and having a reflective night at home, and “GO:OD AM” is more like a mojito — fun and something you order when you’re out with your friends.

Looking at the album song by song, think of the intro “Doors” like an exposition to the novel and the next song “Brand Name.” It’s a solid song and deserves playtime from listeners, but it’s nowhere near the best song on the album. I can say the same thing about “Rush Hour” — less deep and more scraping along a shallow surface of rap. Compared to how he started WMWTSO, you can tell this album is bouncier and reminiscent of his songs on the mixtape “Macadelic.”

Moving on, “Two Matches” with Ab-Soul is the weakest song on the album. It isn’t particularly pleasing to the ear considering the beat is all over the place, and I have never been a fan of Ab-Soul’s harsh voice. Ab-Soul and Mac are close and are frequent collaborators, but this isn’t one of their best songs together. 

“100 Grandkids” was the best single to be released before the album dropped and remains one of the best songs on the album. It’s fun and confident and captures the essence of what the album is about. 

On “Time Flies,” Mac features Lil B, and although he doesn’t rap, he offers some advice on how fast time moves. Sounds like him and Mac went through some self-discovery before making this track.

It seems to me that “Weekend” is a lame attempt to get on the radio and even features Miguel, someone I would have never guessed Mac to work with. The song is okay, but Miguel doesn’t do it for me as he tries to make this laid back rap song into a R&B ballad reminding me of a ripoff of fellow rapper The Weeknd.  

“Clubhouse” transitions from “Weekend” so perfectly you have to be reminded that they are separate songs. It goes from Miguel singing about how weekends are the time of his life back to being interrupted by Mac who seems like he just wants to get back to his rap album to present you one of the best songs on the album. 

Mac Miller proves he can go hard with the best of them with “In the Bag.” With this song, it’s silly to not put him in the same category as one of the elite rappers right now. I would rather listen to this song at a club than some overplayed Drake track.

“Break the Law” featuring Juicy J all the way to “Cut the Check” with Chief Keef serve as the climax for this journey. Chief Keef gives a surprisingly coherent and articulate verse that proves to be the best rap feature on the album. 

Between the two songs, “Perfect Circle/God Speed” has one of the most original and interesting beats of the album. Mac raps to a difficult sample and tells us about his substance problems with a gospel and a gloomy piano in the first half of the song. He then transitions into a second half reminiscing about dark times and white lines. This is the the most emotional and deepest track on the album.

“Ascension” starts the falling action and is also one of my favorite songs on the album because of the more serious subject matter and intricate lines. The beat is an easy laid back and poetic one where Mac can thrive on. 

One of the weaker songs, “Jump” is alright, but I applaud him for being more experimental with the beat. The album finishes off with “The Festival” featuring the German electronic band Little Dragon. With its indie vibes, this song could become one of the most underrated songs on the album.

With Mac’s longtime producer and friend Big Jerm, the production and organization of this album is incredible. Mac made another pronounced album, one that will add to his legacy when it’s all said and done. I highly recommend listening to the album all the way through at least once and view it as a whole piece of work instead of just listening to the popular singles. 

I would like to have seen better features from a different spectrum of rappers that Mac hasn’t worked with  on a studio album yet (like Chance the rapper or A$AP Rocky). Also I wish that the artists featured on the album had better parts, particularly Juicy J and Lil B.

Overall, however, this album was jaunty, exciting, carefree and upbeat with a dose of optimism. “GO:OD AM” only adds to Mac Miller’s brand and helps his career. 

 

Jack Riewe is an English senior and 

life & arts writer for The Battalion. 

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