Mac Miller – ‘Watching Movies with the Sound Off’ Album Review

Label: Rostrum Records

Released: June 18, 2013

Genre: Rap

V.M Rating: 8/10

  After topping the U.S Billboard chart with his 2011 middle class suburban and highly instrumental debut ‘Blue Side Park,’ Pittsburgh rapper Mac Miller returns with a productively compound sophomore ‘Watching Movies with the Sound Off,’ which I thought displays a very creditable lyrical elevation from Mac’s previous releases, particularly Blue Side Park.

I spent a few hours listening to this album alone and I realised it has a very mind-altering sound both in the beats and rhymes. Mac’s lyrics have become much more self-reflecting and contemplative which is a very important thing for any rapper or musician. Featuring the likes of Ab Soul, Jay Electronica and Schoolboy Q, without a doubt, anyone that listens to this album will be coxswained in the right direction. Under his ‘Larry Fisherman’ given name, Mac produces many of the songs on the album himself and they all have the same general sound. Songs like ‘Goosebumpz’ and the Tyler, the Creator produced ‘OK’ still have his old signature hyped up party sound and they don’t necessarily break up the flow of the album as they come right at the end of the album, but the majority of the songs are slow, thought provoking jams.

Mac Miller invested a lot of time in making sure this album was not just ‘one to party with’ but ‘one to listen to’ as written by AllMusic’s David Jeffries. I fully agree with this because Mac managed to deliver more substantial lyrics than he did on Blue Side Park and his technical abilities are evidently exposed on the LP.

Songs that particularly stood out for me include ‘Objects in The Mirror’ which has a very psychedelic sound behind it and ‘I Am Who I Am’ where Mac talks openly about the criticism he faces from fans and from his record label, rapping ‘Be specific, To those in control, we’re all just statistics, Misogynistic with a twisted mind.’ ‘Aquarium’ is surprisingly self-reflective, but the dumb-fun party jams are half as infectious as before, and twice as misogynistic although stoner-logic verses like ‘Asian women love me, I look like David Duchovny’ do have some charm.

All in all, this album has great production, flows and features although it’s missing the ‘IT’ factor. Had Mac taken some more time to give the project a little more direction, it would’ve been a great album.  On some songs, he sounds like he’s not even aware he’s rapping. In my opinion, this is a pretty decent album and definitely manages to top off Blue Side Park.

Progression is very revitalizing and there is enough substantiation of this throughout ‘Watching Movies with the Sound Off.’

I highly recommend you to get the album on iTunes here

Full Album Tracklist (Deluxe Edition): 

1. The Star Room
2. Avian
3. I’m Not Real (Feat. Vinny Radio & Earl Sweatshirt)
4. S.D.S.
5. Bird Call
6. Matches (Feat. Ab-Soul)
7. I Am Who Am (Killin’ Time) (Feat. Niki Randa)
8. Objects In the Mirror
9. Red Dot Music (Feat. Action Bronson)
10. Gees (Feat. ScHoolboy Q)
11. Watching Movies
12. Suplexes Inside of Complexes and Duplexes (Feat. Jay Electronica)
13. Remember
14. Someone Like You
15. Aquarium
16. Youforia
17. Goosebumpz
18. O.K. (Feat. Tyler, The Creator)
19. Claymation

Mac Miller also recently released the Official Video for ‘Watching Movies.’ You can watch it here