The Divine Feminine Review
In the beginning of his career, Mac Miller fell into a particular category of rappers with lighthearted lyrics aiming to please the college crowd. However, after a 4 year rise through the mixtape circuit with hits such as “Donald Trump” and “Best Day Ever”, Miller released his first studio album Blue Slide Park and showed that he could stand out from the pack. The album introduced the young white rapper’s soon-to-be-signature laidback style to the rap community. Over the next several years, he followed up on the success of Blue Slide Park with several mixtapes and the albums Watching Movies with the Sound Off and GO:OD AM, which proved to be more insightful and intriguing than his earlier works.
However, with his new album The Divine Feminine, Miller has officially crafted his best work to date. The Divine Feminine is a complete departure from the style and production audiences have come to expect from the Pittsburgh native. Even his subject matter has changed dramatically, with Miller taking a more sensual, even slightly romantic approach to his rapping this time around.
A recurring choice in nearly every album of Miller’s is that of starting out slow with the opening track. Fittingly, The Divine Feminine’s opening track “Congratulations” is a soulful song that kicks things off with an admittedly divine piano solo that could be heard on a jazz record. The record then quickly transitions to the faster paced “Dang” featuring Anderson Paak. The trumpets, snare drums, and funked out guitar mix together to make a fun neo-soul dance record. Miller rhymes over this beat with the utmost grace and swagger, as his lyrics bounce back and forth on the beat like a ricochet.
Miller’s more romantic and wild side about love is showcased throughout The Divine Feminine. Miller not only spits rhymes describing raunchy sex, but also delivers more flirtatious, heartthrob lyrics, such as in “My Favorite Part”, his duet with the pop singer (and Miller’s girlfriend) Ariana Grande. Miller’s rhymes in this song especially, which are emotive and honest, deviate from his past lyrics that focused on sexual accomplishment and explicitness.
The Divine Feminine also features guest performances from Kendrick Lamar, Cee Lo Green, and Ty Dolla $ign on tracks that, for the most part, complement their distinctive styles. Interestingly, Ariana Grande changes her performing style to fit the new and unique direction that Miller takes in this album.
The Divine Feminine shows Miller’s transition from a youthful, upbeat party artist playing for college students to a mature and sensual artist producing tracks that would fit in at a cocktail party, a wedding, or any other place oozing with true class. The Divine Feminine is a fantastic record that is sure to mark a new future of critical success for Mac Miller.