Mac Miller is not what you would call a predictable rapper. Although he may have begun his career as one, he has since thrown listeners for a loop. "GO:OD AM" however does not exactly show much of anything out of the ordinary.
Miller began his career as a young, wide-eyed (his words, in fact) rapper who brought fans multiple mixtapes full of youthful rhymes delivered with a casual stoner flow and a dash of outright silliness. Miller's sound was refreshing at times, but rather mundane at others.
His first full length album "Blue Slide Park" was met with unwelcoming critical reviews but a great deal of independent success. His party boy raps were considered weak and shallow by critics but were found to be very appealing to many listeners.
Next came his "Macadellic" mixtape, a project which attempted to dig deeper into Miller's apparently troubled mind. This is where he began to surprise listeners with a side of himself they had never seen before. The drug abusing, depressive themes of this project, however, were not fully formulated and put into solid, effective use until his Miller's second full length, "Watching Movies With The Sound Off." This is album explored Miller's reflections on things such as religion and heavy drug use, while showcasing of his best rhymes to date.
The follow up to "Watching Movies With The Sound Off" was the increasingly depressed (and suicidal at times) mixtape "Faces." Although this project was a bit long winded, it took listeners even deeper into Miller's tortured mind. In between all of these projects, Miller released various works such as the jazz album "You," the high pitched, psychotic mixtape "Delusional Thomas" and a joint project with Vince Staples on which Miller played the role of producer.
Now comes "GO:OD AM." On this project we find Miller clean from all hard drugs and, although not quite as underwhelming as "Blue Slide Park," leaving us almost wishing he had those past troubles to talk about.
This is not AT ALL to say that Miller should go back on the hard stuff or attempt suicide or anything of that nature, but unfortunately it seems to be true that those things brought out his more introspective side. This album brings brags, monotonous talk of money and girls and a feature list much less appealing than that of his last album. Miller doesn't say much of anything interesting and even the things he does say aren't always entirely convincing. He doesn't, for example, seem like the type to live out the motto "Get money, fuck the system, break the law," as he chants on "Break The Law."
The point here is not that Miller has to either talk sad and psychologically tormented or be completely boring, after all it doesn't always work anyway ("Perfect Circle/God Speed"). What he could do, however, is explore his new found sobriety or any other personal aspects of his life in a real, in-depth and reflective way.
There are highlights on this project, however, such as "100 Grandkids." This track brings boring money talk but compares it to promising his mother grandkids in a clever way. On this song he raps candidly:
"I made a promise to my momma
That I'll bless her with some grandkids, she can spoil them
Until then, I'm getting dollars, I'm just doing what I gotta
Can a man live?"
The production on this album is quite enjoyable for the most part as well. The pulsating synths and well placed bass make the best to "Clubhouse" an easy, yet interesting listen. The album is littered with a variety of quality production credits, particularly I.D. Labs and Thundercat.
At the end of the day Mac Miller is without a doubt capable of bringing more to the table than shallow, boring rap. Unfortunately, he doesn't do much to prove that on "GO:OD AM." Nevertheless, Miller is not a predictable artist, so his next work might very well be worth paying attention to.
Music Vibes: 7 of 10
Lyric Vibes: 3 of 10TOTAL Vibes: 5 of 10