Miller’s album is inconsistent

By Jesse Baalman

Rapper Mac Miller returns with a musically inconsistent, but intriguing new album “The Divine Feminine,” released Friday.

Miller is back with his newest album since “GO:OD AM,” released Sept. 18, 2015.

The Pittsburgh native now has something to say about love and lust with this album. The Northern Star previously reported this album as one of the most anticipated albums of fall. His fourth studio album is ambitious, but Miller’s confusing motives toward relationships and women cause his album’s reach to exceed its grasp.

Miller’s style has always been on the experimental side and this collection is no different. There are moments of traditional hip-hop throughout these 10 tracks and there are also welcomed moments of experimentation and funk, such as on the single “Dang!” featuring Anderson .Paak. There is space in this album for fans of a variety of different sounds to coexist.

Songs that fans of the more traditional Mac Miller brand will enjoy are “Stay” and “Cinderella.” “Stay” is a brassy, gospel-like meditation that repeats the phrase “will you stay just a little while” throughout. “Cinderella” featuring Ty Dolla $ign is old-school R&B that has plenty of Miller’s exceptional rhyming and rapping. While these two tracks do hint at the creativity at Miller’s core, they are smothered in his relentless misogynistic overtones. They are perfect for listeners who want new songs from the old Mac Miller, but not for those seeking a sense of enlightenment.

A majority of the redeeming qualities on this album are in the other artists that were involved. Miller has a good eye for what specific collaborations will succeed. In “We,” featured artist CeeLo Green lends some of his signature soul vocals to a song that otherwise would be lacking. Another highlight is the added female perspective from Miller’s girlfriend Ariana Grande in the loose and affectionate “My Favorite Part.” Grande’s addition makes listeners realize how the album is hurt by its one-sidedness.

This is an album totally dedicated to the female gender and lust and attraction that Miller experiences towards them. Unfortunately, his execution of all these worthy ideas drowns out any tender musicality. Mac Miller’s “The Divine Feminine” wants to be immersive in different psychedelic, jazzy and soulful tones that complement his usual hip-hop, but this project still feels like somewhat of a letdown. With the inventiveness that is evident in this music, the future of Miller’s artistry can go in any direction and maybe that’s what fans have always enjoyed about him.