Mac Miller died in September 2018. ‘Good News’ is the first single from his posthumous album Circles, which was close to completion at the time of his death. This is the first song of his released since then, and it seems an entirely appropriate choice, given its combination of a profound sense of sadness with a tone of redemption.
‘Good News’ is a haunting song. Given what has occurred since its recording, its lyrics are tragically prophetic; exploring Miller’s isolation and melancholia. “There’s a whole lot more for me waiting on the other side,” Mac croons near the end. Lines like these clearly express a sense of foreboding regarding death, but the way they do it exemplifies the tone of the song as a whole. Death is not approached with misery but with a sense of optimism.
This mixed tone is perfectly complemented by the production of film composer Jon Brion. Brion’s airy pizzicato strings and keys add a lightness to the track such that the darkness of the lyrics never becomes overwhelming.
‘Good News’ is both deeply depressing and oddly uplifting. It shows off what is great about Mac Miller’s music in that it is simple and expressive. Despite its near six-minute run time, it still feels cut short.
Image: Justin Boyd via Flickr