The Verse’s Queen of Sass Robert Bone reviews Mac Miller’s debut album The Divine Feminine.
Mac isn’t divine. The women he meets aren’t divine either. But in the midst of soft chords and bridges so sharp, The Divine Feminine offers us a look into how a union can offer us a life beyond ourselves.
Having spent my life in the mainstream, picking up this album from Miller’s inserts in With Ur Love [Cher Lloyd] and The Way [Ariana Grande], I realise it’s so oddly liberating to have a selection of tracks that move beyond the conventions of music. As not a single track on the album possesses seconds of silence at their endings, we instantly move from our dream at the pearly gates of Celebration into a jolt (‘WAIT!’) into the drugged blissed repetition of running (and running) after others in Dang!. Everything is chilled, Mac, there’s really no rush.
The video for Dang! Is seriously unnerving though, with Anderson .Paak reaching for a lover’s hand when she clearly wants to get away from him, and Mac staring at a women behind her in shades everywhere she goes. Mac says he ‘eats pussy; other people need food’, and it begins to become a big lad joke throughout his songs that women are just some toy to intoxicate with his poetic magnetic attraction (‘You in my dreams that’s why I sleep all the time, Cinderella’), with the sole end goal always being to fuck. Mac tells Verified he’s a ‘big believer in the universe’, but this album clearly shows he hasn’t moved past the playground.
Listening to the final track on the album, God is Fair, Sexy Nasty, I first thought the finishing monologue was someone trying to prove to us, and to themselves, that their affair was justified. In fact, it was the story of how a widow met, and fell in love with, her husband. All these songs are so luscious (though My Favourite Part was sadly the only song that seemed to talk just like any other artist above love in such a complete way), that you begin to realise that Mac simply cannot live alone. This idea of proxemics, being close and then falling apart, is an undeniable and ultimately consequentially way of life (Mac’s life): the divine love and sex will always come back.
It’s clear Miller’s a skilled lyricist, and the overall production of the album doesn’t do any wrong, however the cringe-worthy, misogynistic tone of the album spoils it a little for me. The Divine Feminine: Pull me close, treat me wrong, I’ll walk away, you bring me back. Hmm Mac. No thanks.