2013 has been a defining year for Mac Miller, with his chart topping ‘Watching Movies with the Sound Off’ album being released back in mid-June; selling just over 100,000 copies in the first week, contending with the likes of Kanye’s record ‘Yeezus’ and J Cole’s ‘Born Sinner’, he can be proud of his achievements…
Along with his sold out ‘Space Migration’ tour, collaborating with the funk duo The Internet who are of course members of the Odd Future collective. Leading on from this tour, Mac has decided to release a further live album named ‘Live from Space’, which is unusual considering the stereotype of rappers sounding superior on record than they are in concert; often revealing their vulnerable vocals. Plus, the Watching Movies rapper fills us in with 5 new songs that failed to make the WMWTSO track list.
However, ‘Live from Space’ is as unorthodox as it gets for a Rap album. Miller takes us on a tour of space, unsurprisingly, replacing the original Hip Hop beats from his songs, with the groovy live band which oozes Jazz vibes. Amalgamated with Mac’s grizzly voice, it makes the live experience even more authentic. Mac is enthusiastic, emphatic and edgy throughout his performances, despite most of the tracks being mellow such as ‘BDE’ and ‘Youforia’; one record that stands out to be the most electrifying and stimulating would be ‘Watching Movies’ which revolutionises into a Punk Rock/ Screamo concert, with Mac’s growling voice drilling deep into your ears. ‘Objects in the Mirror’ is also featured in the album which, for me, is one of the best songs of 2013, especially his live versions; Mac puts his heart and soul on the line for this love song to drugs and creates an emotional and triumphant atmosphere with the juxtaposition of strong but at times tentative vocals, whilst claiming he’s, “Never seen somebody put together perfectly.”
The 5 new tracks are quite simply a breath of fresh air, continuing the soothing vibe of the album. Future is an interesting feature on the song ‘Earth’, his organic voice replaces his typically infamous auto-tune sound. ‘In the Morning’ consists of a classic Hip Hop beat with, yet still, a hint of Jazz, blending nicely with Syd tha Kyd’s soulful tone on the hook.
‘Live from Space’ is essentially a feel good album that’s eager to take everyone on a spiritual journey through the influence of live music. At times, Mac’s singing can sound slightly croaky, but his effort is admirable and counteracts any faults. Mac has clearly progressed significantly since his first album ‘Blue Slide Park’ and the direction he is going in with his music is fascinating to listen to.
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