Slava P records Gypsy Bossa Nova under the alias, Matthieu Boulevardier

You know what I’m thankful for? The revival of the concept album. Coming into 2012, the concept of a concept album seemed to be all but dead, replaced by the overwhelming stench of swag and ratchet pussy. So, I’m thankful that artists like Killer Mike, El-P and Kendrick Lamar have slowly righted that ship by releasing thematic projects throughout the course of the year. Another concept album that’s somehow made its way into my 2012 playlist features smooth jazz strings and horns that work in unison with the artist’s adenoidal voice to create an ambient and bluesy lounge ambiance. It was recorded by Mac Miller.

Going under the pseudonym Larry Lovestein and backed by “The Velvet Lounge”, Mac Miller’s “You” is a free five song collection that has Mac producing and doing something that is painfully close to, but not quite, singing. After you remove whatever preconceived notions you have about Mac Miller, “You” becomes somewhat enjoyable; a slight nod to a jazz age that Mac missed by a good 40 years. And while the crooning is more akin to French Montana than Michael Buble, it consistently squeaks by enough to get Mac’s saccharine message of love across. On the production side, songs like “Moment 4 Jazz” prove to be an example of Mr. Miller’s understanding of the placement horns and keys, enough to keep you entertained for a 4 minute instrumental.

At the end of the day, You is still a Mac Miller album, so chances are good that the people who would most benefit from having a lounge-jazz record in their lives won’t bother downloading this. On the flip side of the target demographic, most of Mac’s current fans won’t appreciate this record as anything more than an experimental fling with a saxophone and a fake name. Rightfully so, as even some of the more “heartfelt” lyrics come off shallow as a drop of lean in a styrofoam cup.

Raindrops make me feel romantic,
Let’s run away, sail to the Atlantic.
Two of us, such a wonderful pair,
Stuck inside this love affair.

Am I thankful for Mac Miller? Fuck no. But I’m not supposed to be, due in large part to the fact that I’m over the age of thirteen and my parents would (presumably) allow me to listen to MGK. However, that doesn’t mean that I agree with the popular opinion that he is the herpes of Hip-Hop. I like to think of him more as an ingrown hair on the face of music. It may be unsightly, but hopefully, if you ignore it, it will just mature into something that doesn’t embarrass.

ZIP: Mac Miller/Larry Lovestein – You EP (Left-Click)

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