Metascore
78

Generally favorable reviews - based on 13 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 13
  2. Negative: 0 out of 13
Buy On
  1. Aug 3, 2018
    90
    Whatever headspace produced Swimming, it captures this perfectly.
  2. Aug 3, 2018
    86
    It’s in Miller’s melodious baritone, stark mantra flow that Swimming is most effective--a simple, stately, poetic autobiography.
  3. Aug 9, 2018
    80
    Swimming merges enlightening, candid rhymes over funky beats, providing a transparent look at how Mac Miller hit a personal rock bottom and his vigorous climb to save himself.
  4. 80
    This is deeply personal material that’s as impressive if not as game-changing as anything esteemed rap figures Kendrick Lamar and Childish Gambino have produced in recent years. Miller has turned his anguish into one of the year’s most disarmingly pleasant records.
  5. Aug 3, 2018
    80
    it is a patient record in sound and concept.
  6. This album shows his growth as both an artist, and as aa person who’s had to deal with the most private aspects of their life being publicly dissected. It’s a stellar--if somewhat overlong--artistic statement.
  7. Aug 3, 2018
    75
    Miller sounds great when he’s whining, croaking, stretching syllables like warm mozzarella. Swimming’s spare, dreamy production allows him to do a lot of that.
  8. Aug 3, 2018
    75
    Swimming is less virtuosic than those artists’ [Chance the Rapper, Anderson.Paak and Frank Ocean] recent works, but no less heartfelt, and the album’s wistful soul and warm funk fits Miller like his oldest, coziest hoodie.
  9. Aug 9, 2018
    70
    Whether Miller is singing on those funk-inflected highlights, or rapping on them with a flow that's airtight to their irresistible rhythms, he sounds like a would-be chart-topper, not to mention one of the most versatile and accomplished hip-hop artists working today. He also clearly has pop chops to rival those of his former flame.
  10. Aug 8, 2018
    70
    Swimming captures Miller at a creative apex where he's acutely aware of where he's been and where he can go.
  11. Aug 7, 2018
    70
    If he could surface those demons with more vivid details and add texture to his lyrics instead of simply using them as a rhythmic device, then he may have a genuinely classic album in him yet. But if Swimming doesn’t quite achieve greatness, it connects. You can hear his pain and perseverance, even if he struggles to put it into words.
  12. Aug 3, 2018
    70
    Swimming is ample evidence that Miller can pick up the pieces and continue evolving, his grasp on thoughtful, introspective hip-hop getting stronger by the album.
  13. 60
    Most tracks float by in a pleasant if unremarkable funk-lite haze, but there’s an overall sense of Miller being older, wiser and more at peace than before.
User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 71 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 61 out of 71
  2. Negative: 7 out of 71
  1. Aug 4, 2018
    10
    Mac has come so far since Blue Side Park, the album that nearly destroyed his career.
    This album is the perfect combination of everything he
    Mac has come so far since Blue Side Park, the album that nearly destroyed his career.
    This album is the perfect combination of everything he learned from GOOD A:M and Divine Feminine.
    And a result of everything he's been through.
    Beautiful album near perfect 9/10 imo
    Full Review »
  2. Aug 4, 2018
    9
    It's funky, it's laidback, it's groovy, it's introspective. The production is immaculate.
    The beats feel so cohesive and yet they still feel
    It's funky, it's laidback, it's groovy, it's introspective. The production is immaculate.
    The beats feel so cohesive and yet they still feel like their own songs. Mac comes through with some great songs, pretty decent singing and the rapping we've come to expect.
    Full Review »
  3. Aug 18, 2018
    6
    Mac Miller certainly always tries to sound a little difference. Rather than using drums and synth he'll experiment with horns and other suchMac Miller certainly always tries to sound a little difference. Rather than using drums and synth he'll experiment with horns and other such instruments. While I like Mac Miller and the effort the album as a whole falls flat. It definitely works as a guy who is working through a breakup. But as an album all the songs blend together, similar style and tempo to the point where it blends. There are good songs on the album as well such as What's the Use and Ladders but the entire album overall is kind of boring. I always want more from Mac Miller because I feel that he can do better. Full Review »