Mac Miller’s “The Divine Feminine,” a brave new venture taking rap into the world of romanticism, is perhaps one of his most provocative works yet. While he’s no less sexed-up, Miller has shaken the strung-out character that pervades his previous albums. In “The Divine Feminine,” he’s more grown up and sure of what he wants in life.
This album is an intoxicating love letter, and I’m buying every bit of it.
“The Divine Feminine” opens with “Congratulations,” a classically-influenced mix co-written by love interest and pop star Ariana Grande. The soft whisperings of an unknown woman coax the listener through the beginning steps of a journey of nostalgia and forlorn love that continues in the next few tracks.
Miller talks about domestic life with a great love of his — a woman who was there before the “fancy cars,” back when Miller was just a “starving artist.”
Reminiscing on his druggie days, Miller croons: “I felt the highs and they felt like you. See, a love like mine is too good to be true.” Though Miller’s album cover is a soft pink, he recalls that his lover reminds him “of the color blue.”
With this introduction, it’s clear that Miller is not trying to hide what the album is really about. He’s a man on a mission, and that is to talk about love (and no, he doesn’t step on Drake’s toes — in fact, I think he owns the subject matter a little easier).
The album fits the message of love perfectly. It just works.
While I love this album almost as much as Miller loves his girl, “Skin” and “Cinderella” are clear standouts for me. “Skin” is so sensual in nature it rivals hits from the likes of The Weeknd, while “Cinderella” is just as playful with hopeful undertones.
In “Cinderella,” Miller remarks: “Well all my days now, they changin’. I got angels, no more Satan. Looks like God’s on my side, this time,” and I really believe that he’s at one of the happiest times in his life.
Miller has managed to share that happiness through music — a clear sign of his talent. At this point in the album, I feel that Miller’s hits have already been accounted for. But this wordsmith hasn’t pulled out all the stops just yet.
“God is Fair, Sexy Nasty,” a collaboration with Kendrick Lamar that finds its way to the end of the track list, is pure magic. No matter how many times I listen to this album, I find myself coming back to this track in particular. The lyricism is impeccable. The vibe is unmatched. When it comes to Lamar and Miller, I just want to hear more.
I’m not lying when I say I enjoyed every bit of “The Divine Feminine” from beginning to end. I don’t know if Miller has convinced the woman he’s rapping about to love him back, but I sure am head over heels.