Review this album
Jun 19, 2013this is a really good album, people hate because it is not the same as K.I.D.S or his older stuff. He has evolved as a musician and a person so it's obviously more mature work. I think he really showed his production and rapping skills on this album. Watching Movies with the Sound Off is not a sophomore slump, yet the beginning of something greater for mac miller
Aug 19, 2013"Who the is Mac Miller?". These are the words ushered by battle rapper Loaded Lux on WMWTSO. Over the past 2 years or so, many of his fans and music listeners in general have asked the same question. The question is posed as a mainstream Hip-Hop diss veering towards 'You're not popular', however I interpreted it as 'Where are you going stylistically?'.
Mac's second studio album shows us maturity, both in his music and as a person. Mac elevated himself in every regard on this project, and I would like to break down how.
Production: This is probably the highlight of the album; the instrumentals, vocals and placement of the songs.
Mac enlisted the help of some pretty powerful names, from Pharell, to Chuck English, SAP (the genius behind 'Donald Trump') and FlyLo. Just play the first 10 seconds of each song, and you will hear for yourself the variation. You have sentimental, deep feeling tracks such as 'REMember', 'Objects In The Mirror' & 'Someone Like You'. Fast paced, lively boom-bap sounds such as 'Gees', 'OK', 'Watching Movies', 'Goosebumpz' & 'S.D.S'. Colourful Piano Chords and Samples in 'Avian', 'I'm Not Real', 'Red Dot Music' & 'Matches' (BMSR Sample FTW). However, where the beats shine is when Mac decides to bring in introspective, slow sounds on the tracks 'The Star Room', 'I Am Who Am' & 'Aquarium'. Mac even produced about 1/4 of the album himself, under the name Larry Fisherman.
These songs are great individually, however, for me an album is at its best when it links. Mac utilized this incredibly well, whether it be Earl telling him to "go" (which is precisely what he did on S.D.S), again Lux asking who he is (which he then outlines on 'Gees') or Mac going from discussing his view on certain quote-on-quote important social/political/economical issues ('Aquarium') to him detailing his idea of what euphoria is (Youforia, which is the vagina). Finally his voice sounds a lot cleaner compared to previous work, and the vocals provided by Niki Randa are enchanting. Mac uses pitch vocals on a few songs also, so you can see the Odd Future influence.
Lyrics: I have loved Mac Miller since he started, but I even I can admit that his lyrics were never the greatest. Whether that be his lyricism, or what he is saying. On WMWTSO, Mac abolishes my thoughts. Mac decided to put it all on the line, and rap about many different topics, from his parents relationship, his own, his addiction to 'lean', celebrity culture, secret societies/conspiracies, his childhood, religion (a lot), money and its negative effects, even the human condition; (When 'em high roller homes in Vegas/Raid them with some home invasions/Contaminating the place with plague, we just saved the day. 'I Am Who Am').
His skills at conveying his thoughts also have improved. Lines such as "Not into this conversation/I've been in my head for hours" (Not into/Nodding to), "Money in machines/those will make you change", "Jewish Buddhist consuming the views of Christianity", "You got a clue/what does a clue get? Nothing" & "Make a collage and look at it through a kaleidoscope".
Flow: This has always been Mac's strong point, and it only gets better on this project. "Hyper than Williams' middle son since I was a little one moms had to put me on the Ritalin/ Made a swisher run crack the 40 then I lit a blunt/Told Chuck I had a couple raps so we kicked the drums." Mac varies his tempo based on what he is talking about, but always keeps it interesting. Tracks such as 'I Am Who Am', 'Watching Movies' and 'Gees' best showcase this.
Features: Damn. Action Bronson, Schoolboy Q, Ab-Soul, Tyler, Earl, Jay Electronica? Mac certainly kept his ear to this best talent of the 'new-school'.
All verses vary, from Bronson showcasing his already legendary rapping skills, Soul getting nostalgic about his childhood, Tyler hyping Mac up for a crazy song or Jay Electronica even rapping about female characters from actual movies.
WMWTSO is no concept album, it is however, a piece of art that rivals any in hip-hop this year. I advise anyone to at least try 3 or 4 tracks. Remember, the dude is only 21, and has produced a future classic with some incredible replay value.… Collapse
Sep 10, 2013Mac Miller has grown up. He has dropped his high school rapper persona and has moved on to the real rap game. His new rhymes are infused with intelligence and story telling. Not to mention that the production on this album is top notch. Each song has a unique flow and feeling. Overall a much more serious album then all of his mix tapes combined. It also features great cameos by Action Bronson, Ab-Soul and other note worthy game changers. Very enjoyable, laid back album to chill to.… Expand
Jun 18, 2013This album honestly grows on me more and more with each listening. Plenty of standout tracks, with Objects in the Mirror, Watching Movies and a few others being personal favorites. Production by Mac, as Larry Fisherman, is very good and you can tell that he has evolved a lot in that aspect. As far as the features are concerned, they are all well matched with the more chilled out approach this album seems to take. To the reviewer who said that Mac's flow is boring and the same in every song clearly was not listening to the album carefully. I'm not gonna pretend that this album is full of hype beats and that Mac has a different flow on every song, but don't we always bash artists for not being unique?...this is certainly unique and Mac's own flow. If you want examples of quicker flows and beats that are less "boring" you can listen to S.D.S., Watching Movies or Goosebumpz.… Expand
Jun 28, 2013Mac Miller continues to evolve as a rapper. He just gets better and better with his flow and lyrics. I don't understand why people hate on his maturity. "he needs to go back to his roots" hiphopguru. I do not agree with that statement. What are Mac's roots anyway? I don't understand why people want 'Easy Mac with the cheesy raps'. He's not some pothead highschooler anymore. Production is very excellent as well and though he still raps about and drugs; Mac Miller is certainly taking a step in the right direction.… Expand
Jul 29, 2013Watching Movies With the Sound Off is a nearly flawless depiction of the intricate mind that is Mac Miller. The days of "frat rap" are over, as Cheesy Mac evolves into a mature artist. WMWTSO has a subdued, laid-back sound, and Miller executes this style with ease. Compassionate and honest rhymes literally pull you into the album, and Mac's story unfolds... One amazing song at a time.
Jul 15, 2013All of Mac Miller's earlier mixtapes and Ep's felt lacking any substance despite being catchy and fun to listen to. When Blue Slide Park came out you could hear slight progression into what he is today but that was lost in the shadows by pop beats and cliche. I personally haven't listened to much of Macadelic, but I've heard the mixtape was a step in the right direction. Watching Movies With the Sound Off is an even bigger step in the right direction. Mac comes out with better producers, better lyrics, and just a better sense of musicality in general. There are slightly cringing moments where Mac goes a little too far with the misogyny but that can be overlooked. Mac also brings a lot of diversity to the songs he makes. Tracks like I I Am Who Am (Killin' Time), Aquarium, and The Star Room are introspective and thought provoking. Then on songs like Objects in the Mirror and Youforia Mac proves he can tell a story while being a decent singer. Some tracks have traces of Mac's old pop beats and tracks like Bird Call, Avian, Red Dot Music, and Gees feel very trippy and druggy. REMember is also one of the most touching songs as it is about one of Mac's best friends who died. All of the songs are great in there own way, some being more misogynistic and crazy than others, but the overall greatness of the album knocks those slightly childish moments away. If you thought it was time for Mac to change his style, this album won't dissapoint, but if you wanted more Pittsburgh anthems and party raps, stick to Blue Slide Park.… Expand