A Review of Swimming by Mac Miller

Reviewing Mac Miller’s New Studio Album


Paul McLaughlin ‘23, Staff Writer

Swimming is Mac Miller’s fifth studio album and, in my eyes, his magnum opus. It explores the ins and outs of Mac’s head; feelings of elation as well as depression.

Released in 2018, this record gives the listener his raw thoughts concerning the world around him, and his evolving outlook and attitude towards life. Mac conveys his story of struggle with mental health and depression in a way that is nothing short of utterly beautiful. The pretty, psychedelic atmosphere he develops makes this such a captivating listen considering the heavier themes he touches on.

Swimming sees Mac’s fun, bold, cool, laid-back, and confident personality on full display while at the same time showing him at his most vulnerable. Every track is testament to Mac’s growth, and how he has come to terms with all the joy, pain, flaw, and love that comes with the human experience. The production on this record is simply unmatched.

Every song is constructed with an attention to detail that makes me fall in love over and over again. Gorgeous intros and eloquent outros are sprinkled all over Swimming’s track list. Mac’s use of synths, piano, bass guitar, violins, etc. all come together to form a breezy, funky, and soulful cinematic experience.

This album quite literally defies genre. It can be classified as jazz rap, as well as soul hip hop with poppy R&B undertones. Mac also has one of the most unique voices in music, with a raspy delicacy to it that he somehow manages to make sound angelic while singing, as well as rapping. The lyricism on this record is iconic. 

Whether it’s your first listen or your hundredth listen, Mac makes Swimming feel like a warm hug from a good friend who just “totally gets it”. This album is a fifty-eight minute, thirty nine second emotional rollercoaster.

One song will raise your serotonin levels so high that you never want to stop dancing, and the next will make you want to stay in bed and cry till the end of time. Mac Miller’s Swimming is beauty in its most human form, and an undeniable 10/10 in my humble opinion.


My track list ranking:

  1. So It Goes
  2. Come Back to Earth
  3. What’s the Use?
  4. Self Care
  5. Jet Fuel
  6. 2009
  7. Perfecto
  8. Small Worlds
  9. Hurt Feelings
  10. Ladders
  11. Wings
  12. Dunno
  13. Conversation, Pt. 1