[Album Review] Mac Miller- “GO:OD AM”

Mac is Back. Pittsburgh emcee Mac Miller‘s third studio album “GO:OD AM” has been out for about a month, so it’s about time we give it what it deserves. Mac is here to prove that he is at the top of his game, in a good place mentally, and is ready to take on the world once again. What do we think of the album? well … remember Kendrick’s “Control” verse where he called out the rappers he felt were the biggest threats in the game? Let’s just say he knew what he was talking about when he included Mac in that call out list.

As Mac’s third studio album, (and first release on a major record via Warner Bros.) he has shown almost unbelievable growth since his debut “Blue Slide Park“, which stems from the fact that he was quite young during the release. You can see his growth through his second studio album “Watching Movies With The Sound Off“, where he was no longer a care free teenager, and instead entered a darker world consisting of the pressures of constantly being critiqued. Mac’s finally in a better place, and at the top of his game, enter: “GO:OD AM”. The name of the album stems from Mac wanting to name it something along the lines of “Good Morning”, though there’s a certain stigma with naming it “Good Morning”, not necessarily in a negative way, though the title creates an expectation in terms of the vibes associated with the music. The colon in the middle of GO:OD, represents the look of a clock, and also may hold another secret meaning, as in “Go OD” (though please don’t). Although there hasn’t been any official word on this, I personally believe that the name of the album may also relate to Mac “waking up” and surpassing the nightmares and darkness that plagued him in the past. Alright enough about the title though, let’s jump right into the album.

“I know it’s been a minute since I’ve been away, didn’t mean to cause you pain, I just needed to escape”
– Mac Miller

“GO:OD AM” consists of 17 tracks, with multiple styles and emotions flowing nicely throughout the whole album. The introductory track “Doors” involves a slow piano inspired beat with Mac singing quite beautifully from the beginning until the end. Mac quickly tells the listener where he’s been, setting the tone for the album to follow. The second track called “Brand Name” begins with an alarm clock going off, following the theme of the album, before a jazzy beat takes center stage. As the first traditional hip-hop track on the album, Mac shows that he’s truly back, with clever lines, and confident bars. “Rush Hour“, starts with a calm bass heavy production reminiscent of something from Wiz Khalifa’s critically acclaimed “Kush & OJ” mixtape. Mac goes over his personally goals on this one, and delivers powerful lines such as: “the world don’t give a f*ck about your loneliness”. “Two Matches” featuring TDE’s Ab-Soul starts off with a catchy hook stating there’s “nothing wrong with a little bit of fun”, and keeps the listener rocking until the very end. “100 Grandkids” the lead single is a bouncy, jazzy track filled with energy that is reminiscent of Mac’s older tracks, though boasts the wordplay that Mac mastered on his mixtape “Faces”. The first half of the track is produced by the legendary Sha Money XL, while the braggadocio filled second half is produced by Mac’s longtime friend, and collaborator Big Jerm.

What’s between heaven and hell … a brand new me
– Mac Miller

Next up we have “Time Flies” featuring the Based God: Lil’ B. Interestingly enough Lil’ B doesn’t rap on this one, but instead offers motivational words on the track, something that he’s known for doing. With a bangin’ beat, and heartfelt message, “Time Flies” is definitely one of the most memorable tracks on the album. Track 7 is called “Weekend” featuring Miguel. and is one of my personal favorites. The vibes in this track are unmatched, with Mac’s real content mixed with a carefree chorus that are even more-so complimented by Miguel’s welcomed additions. “Clubhouse” brings Mac’s gritty side out a little more so, before “In The Bag” jumps in and destroys any expectations you might have. This song is a banger to say the least, and the energy is simply undeniable. “In The Bag” is definitely the nastiest song on the album, and it would be the hardest song too, though one other song comes to mind. “When In Rome” may just be the hardest Mac has ever gone on a track, boasting nasty lyrics on a high energy head bangin’ track, which is something that Mac doesn’t do too often, but when he does, watch out. “Break the Law” is up next and has Mac slowing it down a bit, though effectively staying gritty and holds that signature Mac sound that you know and love. “Perfect Circle / God Speed” is up next, and this is a big one. The first half, “Perfect Circle” has Mac spitting dark bars over a piano inspired beat reminiscent of his track “Diablo” from his Faces mixtape. Before long, the second half of the track “God Speed” comes in full force, and this has Mac being his most open and emotional he’s ever been. Mac goes over all the struggles he’s been through these past few years, and is so real that you’d be crazy not to shed a tear, or just sit there and reflect. It almost feels as though yourself and Mac are having a heart to heart, with Mac stating he tried so hard to be a leader for his crew, and how he needed to admit he had a problem before he could wake up. Some truly intense, and real subject matter.

“Wonderin’ how I got this high … fell asleep and forgot to die”
– Mac Miller

ROS” is up next as track number 13. This love track over a piano inspired beat will definitely get your feelings going if “Perfect Circle / God Speed” hadn’t already. Love songs normally don’t do it for me, though there’s something different about this one. Maybe it’s the realness that bleeds through the song, Mac’s true feeling and emotions, or something totally different. Whatever it is, it’s beautiful. “Cut The Check” featuring Chief Keef is up next, and has Mac and Keef going in over a street inspired beat. As one of the only features on the album, Keef holds his own for a quality track. Number 15 is called “Ascension“, but don’t worry, it’s not a sad song as Mac states at the beginning of the track. Instead, Mac slows it down and spins a little more melody into his lines. I’m really a fan of his twist on the word misconception here, by personifying the word as “why you wanna do me like that Miss Conception”. This can mean a number of different things, but I’ll leave that up to you to figure out. The second last song on the album is one of the most memorable, and it’s called “Jump“. This track boasts a primarily electronic sound with Mac doing his thing over the production. The hook on this track is one of the strongest, asking the listener, if he jumps, do you think that he could fly? The focus on the electronic production is also what sets this track apart from the rest, Mac knows no boundaries. Last up is what some would consider the perfect finale for an album such as this. “The Festival” featuring Little Dragon does an amazing job wrapping up the album. All the emotions, and feelings you’ve felt throughout this album are extenuated by the amazing production, and the beautiful vocals courtesy of the ever-so talented Little Dragon.

“Your love is not too kind … to me, the only thing on my mind … is she”
– Mac Miller

There we have it. Mac’s third album “GO:OD AM” is finally here, and it’s something to behold. Mac has finally grown up after his massive “K.I.D.S.” mixtape, and his debut “Blue Slide Park“, and he’s finally perfected the sound he began to pursue with “Watching Movies With The Sound Off“, and “Faces“. Mac is truly at the top of his game right now, with his most polished piece of work to date. It’s so good to have you back Mac, your fans missed you while you were gone, but none of that matters anymore, because your back, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

If you want to support Mac, and his latest album “GO:OD AM”, you can purchase it on iTunes. Alternatively, Mac is playing a concert in Toronto on December 20th at The Sound Academy, and you can purchase tickets on his website. Each ticket get’s you a digital copy of “GO:OD AM”. Sounds like a win-win to me.