Foreshadowing what was to come, Mac Miller’s FACES was a deep-dive into Mac’s unfortunate reality. Within 24-tracks, the project itself is indulgent, a journey of the effects of drug abuse, a soundtrack to self harm. Revealing itself amongst the challenges of being fueled on drugs and depression, Faces is Mac’s most innovative work, as it explores the impact of music, and how it travels beyond a lifetime, and into the afterlife. Split within life and death, the first 12 tracks are Mac’s lack of resilience to survival, coming to his senses, and eventually caving into suicide, while the latter half, are him pondering on a world without him.
Telling the tale of the many faces that we display for the sake of acceptance and distraction, Mac utilizes his front and back stage behavior to reassure the harsh reality of battling with anxiety. On “Here We Go”, Mac hides his feelings with wealth (as he does on “Polo Jeans”, on Friends” the lone-wolf touches on his loneliness alongside a weird ScHoolBoy Q feature, and justifying his drug abuse on “Malibu”. The mixtape takes a twisted turn on “Happy Birthday” as Mac questions the integrity of his peers, with fear of his purpose on life (“Wedding”), and eventually, listeners are invited to his “Funeral”.
An introspective tale into Mac’s mind, the complexity of the project reveals itself through the impact it has on listeners, and how plenty of us can relate to the heavy-hitting themes. On the last track of the mixtape, Mac wonders a world without his existence, and nearly 8 months after his unfortunate death, the world is still mourning his loss, while celebrating his contributions to music, a true “Grand Finale”.