After a long-awaited streaming drop, Malcolm James McCormick, also known as Mac Miller, dropped his album “Faces” on all streaming platforms. To say it was well-received is an understatement.

A yellow background with the album title and artist's name on the front, with a bunch of random designs and colors.

The official album cover for Mac Miller’s album “Faces”.

Miller’s “Faces” was originally released on May 11, 2014, but had not been available on vinyl or streaming platforms. The album was independently released by Miller under his alias, Larry Fisherman, but due to it being composed of mixtapes mostly, there was a lot of red tape preventing him from releasing it on streaming platforms.

That was until more than seven years later, with its posthumous revival on Oct. 14, 2021. Fans were surprised with its sudden placement on Spotify, Apple Music and its availability to be bought in vinyl formats. It was a freak-out fest for any Miller fans out there, almost as iconic as Kanye’s release of the highly-anticipated “Donda” album this year.

Stick your headphones in, dim the lights, close your eyes and click play. Start your journey with “Inside Outside” as you enter into the mind of the Pittsburgh-originated rapper and record-producer.

Let’s get started.

“Inside Out” hits the listeners with a steady drum beat and a catchy jazz backtrack that will rock your world. However, the  lyrics “I shoulda died already” did seem to hurt the fans a bit, thinking about Mac Miller’s death in 2018.

The second starter song, “Here We Go”, starts off with a quote, “Be without fear in the face of your enemies …”, which really sets the scene for what this album’s target message will be based on. Miller’s confidence in this song goes along with the catchy tune as he chants about being “the greatest” and the “hardest working person in the universe.” It is even quite comical when he ends a verse by saying “I did it all without a Drake feature.”

“Friends”, which features rapper ScHoolboy Q, is the third most streamed song on the re-released album. The song’s lyrics are a bit odd though, surrounding random moments of Miller’s life before and during the drugs.

Miller is not known for creating monumental lyrics—they are purely random most of the time—rather he is more known for the actual sounds and flow of the music in each track which always grabs the listeners’ attention. The steady rhythm and jam you feel when you listen to “Friends”, “Angel Dust” and “Malibu” back to back is an angelic creation which you can feel throughout your entire being.

“What Do You Do”, featuring Sir Michael Rocks, surrounds a deeper background of interpretation. Obviously, some of the lyrics are basic rapper cliches involving a lot of cuss words and stories of drugs and sex; however, the verse when Miller raps “Mirror mirror on the wall, I’m staring at a dead man” drives a sense of reality into the listener’s soul.

Not only is it surreal that Miller rapped a lot about death only a few years before his own untimely passing, but the deep message behind the idea of everyone being bound to die tends to shake people up.

At the beginning of the next song, “It Just Doesn’t Matter”, Miller includes the famous comical speech by Bill Murray in the movie “Meatballs”. Although the transition from the speech into a slow-rising beat in Miller’s song is magnificent, the lyrics come up a bit dry in this one.

“Therapy” with a typical pop beat is followed by the heavy rap song “Polo Jeans”, featuring Earl Sweatshirt. The pace for both songs is fast and catchy, but “Polo Jeans” is a one-verse-after-another type of rap that’s hard to catch onto consisting of a basic chorus. “Therapy” is more of a dance mix that has less rap but features a higher-quality chorus.

“Happy Birthday”, “Wedding” and “Funeral” tend to blend together with their paces and beginnings. Though that’s not to say they aren’t catchy in their own ways.

“Funeral”, for example, is a highly-popular track by Miller. Listening to this one, post Miller’s death, carves a knife into fans’ souls as he repeats “This the last day / Of my life” in his chorus. He raps about his legacy and the future day of his death, making fans dive headfirst into Miller’s perception about his own life and death.

“Diablo” ranks as the most popular song on this album, though it is really unknown why. The off-putting part about this song is the fact that it sounds like the last five featured in this album—same beats, same lyrics and same feelings. Though, seeing as Drake’s new album was perceived as pretty generic with the same “safe” trends, it is no wonder that’s what rap fans seem to be drawn towards nowadays.

This is about the halfway point for the album, and fans begin to wonder if Miller will improve at all in the next few songs.

He does, surprisingly.

“Ave Maria” is one of the album’s tracks that makes it well worth the wait. The lyrics are the typical Miller-odd, with multiple interpretations, but the background music is a fan favorite. The immediate slam of the beat as the song starts is completely capturing. Then the mini guitar solos in the background of Miller’s rap at the beginning sets the illuminatingly iconic scene for the rest of the song. It is practically a masterpiece of music.

“55” is a short, calm interlude, before we’re launched into an instrumental “San Francisco” which is completely different from Miller’s typical tracks, and yet the beat is surprisingly good.

“Colors and Shapes” is another iconic song that Miller fans fell in love with. On Sept. 15, there was even a new music video released for the track. The video follows an animated dog—based on Miller’s real dog, Ralph—through the childhood memories of Miller’s life, emphasizing the highs and the lows of emotions throughout Miller’s rise to fame. The video’s metaphor is beautifully portrayed with the combination of the soft-pace tone and the deeper interpretations of the lyrics.

The next three songs, “Insomniak” featuring Rick Ross, “Uber” featuring Mike Jones and “Rain” featuring Vince Staples, are less of Miller’s typical style and are majorly carried by the artists featured in the songs.

“Apparition” and “Thumbelina” are polar opposite tracks, and yet Miller put them right next to one another in the album. “Apparition” is known for its lengthy outro, only half the song actually consisting of lyrics, while the rest acts like a mix of beats and synthesizer noises. “Thumbelina” on the other hand has a violent slur of curse words right at the start and a harsh variety of yelling backing tracks, even including a little sample from the chorus of “Slow Ride” by the Beastie Boys.

“New Faces” featuring Da$H and Earl Sweatshirt is another beloved track, sitting as the second most popular of the album. Again though, it feels like it’s the generic collaboration of rappers and the basic beats are what tend to attract the attention of a lot of rap fans.

Finally, the album consisting of twenty-five different tracks that sits at just over an hour and a half duration comes to a bitter-sweet end with the last two tracks, “Grand Finale” and “Yeah”, a bonus closer.

“Grand Finale” was produced by Miller himself and has a deep set of interesting lyrics, though the typical melodies of the song are a slight let-down.

“Yeah” is the final song and is the new, exclusive bonus track in the re-released album. With this final powerful song, fans witness Miller’s internal analysis of himself and the pessimistic sides of life. It was a beautiful creation of beats and instruments surrounded by meaningful lyrics.

“Faces” may have been released in 2014, but its re-release caught the attention of all Miller fans out there.

The lengthy album surely made a mark on those who really took a moment to listen to the music and feel the pain of Miller in his element.

Jaedyn Young can be reached or on Twitter @jaedyn_young3.