Let's be honest for a second: Watching Movies with the Sound Off was overlooked. Granted it was released on the same day as Yeezus and Born Sinner, but Mac Miller provided a body of work that, in my opinion, surpassed the two.
The album and following mixtape, Faces, was filled with dark, introspective, and drug infused songs proving that Miller was more than "Easy Mac with the cheesy raps".
His progression has brought him to this point -- the release of his major label debut, GO:OD AM.
Truthfully, this album is the closest to Mac's earlier projects. Though it is honest and personal, AM takes a brighter or more fun tone and portrays the Pittsburgh native in confident form.
Whereas in WMWTSO, he is on a dark journey questioning the meaning of life, AM shows that Mac knows the answers and is focused on enjoying life.
The album opens with "Doors" (pun intended) produced by Tyler, the Creator. Over elegant synths and a sporadic xylophone riff, Mac assures everyone that he is "awake" and is ready to stray away from the somber sound of his previous projects.
It transitions to "Brand Name" which encompasses this new state of mind. Flowing over soulful production laced with emphatic organ keys and horns, Mac is making a triumphant emergence as a redefined artist.
Aside from the production -- handled by Big Jerm, Sha Money XL, Thundercat, just to name a few -- Mac's effortless flow is impressive throughout. Whether on smooth jazz-influenced tracks such as "Rush Hour" or hard-knocking bangers like "In the Bag" and "When in Rome", Miller is capable of tackling any beat with a barrage of different flows.
Two standout cuts are "ROS" and "Break the Law". The former is the album's sole sappy song in which Mac professes his love for his girl:
"so gimme all your love/ and I will be yours through rain and through shine."
The smooth and mellow instrumentation shares similarities to Faces' "Wedding".
"Break the Law" is the polar opposite with booming drums, crude but clever lyrics, and help from Juicy J leading a rebellion against the system.
Mac Miller continues to grow into a true artist on GO:OD AM. Though not a flawless album, this is still an impressive effort. He has improved with each release and is further pushing the envelope on his sound.
It is now hard to believe that his claim to fame was a pop song about a cynical presidential candidate.