Swimming is the fifth studio album from Philadelphia rapper Mac Miller released on August 3, 2018. As a fan of his older projects Watching Movies With the Sound Off and GO:OD AM this is a very disappointing album. I held my breath and hoped that he would move past his boring minimalist mellow beats and his muffled moan of a singing voice on his last record The Divine Feminine, but he continues to follow this path in his career as the first track, “Come Back To Earth” softly strums and stumbles its way through with Miller singing like he’s trying to avoid drowning with below par vocals and a lesser quality to his bars this isn’t a strong opener for the album. Then on the track, “Hurt Feelings,” the album starts to sound more interesting as there’s a strong bass and more energetic drums booming through the instrumental that gives a spacey, wavey, feeling to the track. I could say the same for most other songs on the album like “Perfecto,” “Small Worlds,” “Ladders,” and “So It Goes,” where he seems to be more playful with his lyrics. The chorus on “Small Worlds,” has a certain rough charm to it. Like a menace showing his soft side to the girl he likes, his rugged voice and amateur vocals accompanied by acoustic guitar make the song an enjoyable listen. But these would be the only highlights on the album as the rest of it is a slosh of mumbling rhymes over dreary beats that makes listening to the album over and over again more of a chore to do.
Many of the songs feel like lofi ambient music as they mash together with no clear change and transition to the next one, that the album really suffers from a lot of the same pitfalls that were also in The Divine Feminine that not even some of the producing credits could save it from an instrumental point. Overall this album is a light 6/10 with some pretty good instrumental and production to some of the more light hearted songs but it’s a loss of creativity that really plunges this album down into the ocean