As colder weather approaches, along with the prolonged indoor activity that comes with it, it’s safe to say cuffing season is nearly in full effect. Mac Miller couldn’t have released his forthcoming album, “The Divine Feminine,” at a better time. The album revolves around the concept of love, and it’s apparent from the first song through the last.
While on Beats 1 Radio with Zane Lowe, Mac Miller described how the concept for the album’s title was based off the energy of the world being a female energy that mirrors the soul of a woman. Miller said “The Divine Feminine” originally began as an EP all about the journey love takes you on.
- “Congratulations” (ft. Bilal)
Miller sets the mood for the whole album in this song. He starts off with a lengthy repetition of the word “love” before digging into the rest of the 10-song album. His lyrics are extremely relatable for almost any young couple and highlight the highs that come with relationships along with the baggage that follows. Despite reaching deep into the hearts of listeners right off the bat, he still shows flashbacks of his younger, immature self with basic lyrics that many rappers can easily duplicate.
2. “Dang!” (ft. Anderson .Paak)
Anderson .Paak makes this song special. Miller released “Dang!” while announcing the album late this past summer, and it has a specific sound that only .Paak can make. This song is catchy and makes my head bob to the bounce of the beat. It’s a completely different sound than the rest of the album, but one of my favorites from Miller in a long time.
All I can say is “wow.” This song has a strong jazzy vibe and the harmony is pure. The trumpet catches your attention immediately with an elegant, rich buzz and gives this track an uplifting feeling that separates it from the rest of the album. Mac mentions a Grammy-nominated woman, and all signs point to Ariana Grande, who is rumored to be in a relationship with Mac Miller. Maybe Miller is referring to her throughout the whole song? I’ll leave that one up to Mac to explain.
The horn is back but with a completely different sound. The notes are stretched out and give off a seductive sound that matches the slower tempo throughout the song. It’s easy to get lost in the jazz while listening to this song instead of concentrating on the lyrics. The sound gives off the same feeling as lying in bed, finally getting to relax after a long day.
5. “Cinderella” (ft. Ty Dolla $ign)
For some odd reason, this song draws me in more than any other on this album. The lyrics aren’t extraordinary and nothing really stands out, yet I have had this on repeat since the release of the album. Miller & Ty Dolla $ign keep referring to this “moment” that I feel can be applied to any aspect of a relationship. From a first date or first kiss to getting on one knee, I feel like this song reflects the beauty in one single moment in time.
6. “Planet God Damn” (ft. Njomza)
Njomza stands out on this song. I haven’t heard of her until this, and I’m hooked on the delicate sound she puts out. On Miller’s end, this song features the most actual rapping compared to the rest of the album. He steers away from singing, leaving that up to Njomza, and dives head first into the rhyming, which I normally like. However, this song is very loose and doesn’t hold my attention, that is, until Njomza starts to sing again.
This song gives off a very trippy sound that makes me feel as if I am in space. Even when Miller comes in after a sampled speaking voice in the beginning, I feel as if I am floating around in space with this playing in the background. I really like to see Miller push himself out of his comfort zone with songs such as these that stray away from his other pieces of art.
8. “We” (ft. CeeLo Green)
Forget you? Kung Fu Fighting? CeeLo Green features on this song and brings a big following with him that will explore what I think is one of Miller’s best songs on the album. I picture myself driving late at night in a complicated state in my relationship, as Green puts out a very warm sound that soothes my senses. Miller expresses the problems occurring in his relationship with this song. In his second verse he goes into great detail about this, explaining that even while he gets high he can’t get over her. My favorite line in the song is, “You cross my mind, do not apologize for being fine as hell,” where the religious references “cross” and “hell” explain the good and bad that come with relationships.
9. “My Favorite Part” (ft. Ariana Grande)
I see this as Miller pouring out his love to Grande. She opens up with the line, “Don’t know why thinking of him makes me smile,” which sets the mood for the rest of the song. From the “clueless” references that Grande is associated with, Miller addresses her directly with lyrics that quite simply pull her in close and try to gain her love.
10. “God is Fair, Sexy Nasty” (ft. Kendrick Lamar)
This is not what I would expect out of a Kendrick and Mac collab but I love it. Completely contrasted from their old collab on “Macadelic,” titled “Fight The Feeling,” Lamar seems to deal with melodies rather than rapping. “It goes so many places. It sounds like being in the ocean, relaxing, calm, floating and just like there and comfortable in your thoughts,” Miller told Beats 1 radio. This song is a perfect way to end the album and is the most interesting in terms of sound.
If you’re looking for an album full of bangers to play at party, this isn’t it. This album is meant to be listened to with your significant other, curled up in bed or in deep thought. Mac shows his maturity has changed along with the style of his music since his prior projects. He continues to move away from the cheesy hit songs that made him famous. The variety of music he puts out truly separates him from many of the artists currently topping the charts.
Mac Miller starts “The Divine Feminine” tour later this month and makes a stop in Memphis at Minglewood Hall on Friday, Oct. 21.