User Score
7.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 77 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 64 out of 77
  2. Negative: 10 out of 77

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  1. Jun 18, 2013
    8
    In Mac Miller's debut album, it was clear that he had not quite found a style of his own, a style he was comfortable with and that appealed to an audience. Starting with the mixtape Macadelic, and continuing through features and randomly released songs, Miller slowly began to change his style and his efforts have paid off in Watching Movies With the Sound Off. While he has not appeared to completely discover his place in hip-hop yet, this album gives fans and critics alike a sense that he has cemented a place in the genre, an isn't leaving any time soon. The album's lead-off, "The Star Room" is a perfect intro to a great album. In Blue Slide Park, it felt as if the whole album was one big filler track, but here we see great lyricism and flow. One thing I could do without on the album however is the over-use of vocal pitching, Miller often pitches his voice down in parts where it would sound better normal tone. In some parts of the album it seems Miller gets lazy, with yawner tracks like "Someone Like You" and "Youforia". There is a little something for everyone in this album, with high-energy "Watching Movies" and 'Red Dot Music", and more calm tracks like "Avian", "Objects in the Mirror" and "Suplexes Inside of Complexes and Duplexes". While I don't think it would be right for him to sell out and just make catchy hook songs, I think atleast 1 or 2 anthem style songs that would get chart success would delve him into further territories in both monetary gain and he would gain more fans. Overall, in Watching Movies With the Sound Off, we see a more open Mac, sometimes self-pitying, and a Mac that is still changing. Expect albums in the future to continue to evolve, and himself as an artist to grow and prosper. Expand
  2. Jun 21, 2013
    1
    This album sounds like noise. There are about 3 good songs on the entire album. Mac Millers lyrics might have gotten better but his production suffered a lot. He needs to go back to his roots and stop going mainstream.
  3. Jun 18, 2013
    5
    I dont get the praise. I hated his first album and I find myself bored at the end of WMWTSO listening session. There are few standout tracks (especially Objects in Mirror) but besides that, album is filled with corny punchlines, nonsense metaphors and rhymes about getting high and fu***g bit***s. And we dont need any other young rapper with "shock value".
  4. Jun 18, 2013
    7
    Mac Miller's style has changed A LOT from Blue Slide park and a bit more from K.I.D.S! He sounds more of a depressed Tyler the Creator on this album. With the beats on this sounding great, Blue Slide Park Mac would kill this, but Mac's new flow is boring and he sounds the same in almost every song. Even Matches which is the most hyped up track on the album. My advice would be to use his old happy style with the new production and lyrics. Expand
  5. Jun 18, 2013
    6
    Experimental album here from Mac Miller where he is seemingly trying to find his sound. Despite this learning process for him, the album was a lot more successful than his debut; Blue Slide Park. Mac has matured a ton since then and it shows here with his subject matter in some songs, which take a more serious tone than his usual party tracks. Despite that, there are some tracks such as "S.D.S.", "Avian", and "Bird Call", which are just duds. However, there's more good than bad and as such, I'd say this was a successful sophomore album for Mac and a step in the right direction. Expand
  6. Jun 23, 2013
    0
    Any idiot can rap about getting their sucked. Mac Miller stumbles around the entire album without saying anything even remotely interesting or intriguing.
  7. Jun 18, 2013
    8
    Mac has really grown as a artist and you can see that very clearly in his sophomore effort. His alter ego, Larry Fisherman, production is what makes this such a solid album and great for multiple listens.
  8. Jun 18, 2013
    10
    Mac millers new album absolutely shines like a diamond his change from Blue slide park,Best day ever was the smartest thing he ever did this album is absolutely amazing you will never skip a song!
  9. Jun 18, 2013
    8
    Mac Miller has made some major efforts for his sophomore effort. I mean DAMN its good. Though at some times i got a sense that i was listening to an already released WOLF by featuring artist Tyler the Creator. Nonetheless, Mac still manages to show his major improvements from the childish (i felt) efforts of Blue Slide Park, but i feel its because hes trying to branch to a bigger audience. BSP was a good album, but never amounted to much for me, but i feel this is a great step in the growing rappers career. Great album. Collapse
  10. Jun 19, 2013
    8
    I picked this album up out of pure curiosity, i had never heard anything from him before. But I couldn't have been more pleasantly surprised. He can rap.his beats were good. And the subject matter was good. I wasnt expecting much but got an album i liked a lot better than the yeezus album i had been anticipating.
  11. Jun 19, 2013
    10
    this 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
  12. Aug 19, 2013
    10
    "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.
    Expand
  13. Aug 7, 2013
    7
    Well it's an enjoyable album. You don't usually get a white rapper as good as Eminem, but here's a more fun Eminem. Definitely a must buy. Key songs include Bird Call and Gees.
  14. Sep 10, 2013
    9
    Mac 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
  15. Jun 18, 2013
    10
    This 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
  16. Nov 12, 2013
    8
    Compared to his debut album, this is so much better. As a musician and a rapper, Mac Miller has evolved from a silly weed rapper to someone that can be respected as a rapper to an extent. This, K.I.D.S, and Macadelic are my favorite works from him.
  17. Jun 28, 2013
    9
    Mac 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
  18. Jun 22, 2013
    8
    this was a very interesting album because Mac Miller went away from his party roots and did a unique hip hop album His beats sound excellent, his lyrics were good and this was a smart choice to do for mac Miller because he could have done another Blue Slide Park ,(which I enjoy also) but he went left and gave us a solid project
  19. Jun 18, 2013
    8
    I feel like this album isn't as fun as Blue Slide Park as it has more serious connotation to it. While the seriousness of the album does make me nostalgic for the old Mac Miller, I think he put a lot more emotion into this album. I appreciate an artist that will put their career on the line for an album with more substance than the usual poppy crap we've become so accustomed to. With songs like REMember (my favorite) and Objects in the Mirror you get a sense that Mac is trying to connect with his fans on a whole new level. Expand
  20. Jun 24, 2013
    7
    Impressive sophomore release from Mac. I wasn't a fan of his first album but this project shows extreme growth comparatively. From subject matter to lyricism to the incredible production and features,I have to say that I have become a fan and am excited to see what this 21 year old is capable of in the future. He certainly shares the same undying passion for underground hip-hop as I and it shines through here. Expand
  21. Jun 28, 2013
    1
    This guy used to be fun and lyrically clever. He had hip-hop cred, but brought along some catchy beats and hooks.

    This album is basically about drugs (and not the fun party kinds), getting his dick sucked, getting rich. Clever. It's still way smarter than like Chief Keef, but it's pretty dumb. The beats are boring, slow, and uninteresting. His last three releases have gone straight
    downhill. Not promising for his future. Expand
  22. Jul 29, 2013
    9
    Watching 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.
  23. Jul 15, 2013
    9
    All 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
Metascore
73

Generally favorable reviews - based on 17 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 17
  2. Negative: 0 out of 17
  1. Aug 20, 2013
    60
    [He's tempered] his earlier frat-boy laddishness with some gentler introspection and a keen ear for beats. [Sep 2013, p.107]
  2. Jul 8, 2013
    60
    While the exceptional company he keeps (see appearance by Earl Sweatshirt and the elusive Jay Electronica) sometimes highlights his shortcomings as an emcee, Miller’s guests also push him to be better.
  3. 70
    Watching Movies is Miller’s most enduring, and endearing, project yet.