Faces is the eleventh mixtape by American hip hop recording artist Mac Miller, and the last to be released in his lifetime. It was independently released for free download on May 11, 2014. The mixtape is the follow-up to Miller's second studio album Watching Movies with the Sound Off (2013), and is considered by many fans to be his best work for its dark and personal exploration of Miller's struggle with drug addiction.[2][3]

Faces
MacMillerFaces.jpg
Mixtape by
ReleasedMay 11, 2014
Recorded2013–14
Genre
Length85:38
LabelREMember
Producer
Mac Miller chronology
Live from Space
(2013)
Faces
(2014)
GO:OD AM
(2015)
Singles from Faces
  1. "Diablo"
    Released: September 3, 2014[1]

Miller produced most of Faces himself, and moved towards creating more psychedelic and jazzy instrumentals for his increasingly dark lyrical themes. Yet, its jazziness is not a departure from Miller's previous work, acknowledging the project he released under the alias, Larry Lovestein titled You that was centered around jazz instrumentals. It continues to build upon and experiment with the psychedelic sounds of Watching Movies with the Sound Off. The mixtape features guest appearances from Rick Ross, Earl Sweatshirt, Schoolboy Q, Mike Jones, Sir Michael Rocks, Vince Staples, Ab-Soul, Dash, and Miller's pet dog King Ralph of Malibu.

It was named "Mixtape of the Week" by Stereogum on May 14, 2014,[4] given a 7.3 rating by Pitchfork,[5] and noted by Billboard on May 11, 2014.[6]

ProductionEdit

Mac Miller serves as the executive producer under his production pseudonym "Larry Fisherman", serving as the sole producer for over half of the songs on the track list. ID Labs handled production for two songs, while Earl Sweatshirt produced the songs "Polo Jeans" & "New Faces" under his own production pseudonym, "randomblackdude". Thundercat, DrewByrd, Rahki, THC, Big Jerm & 9th Wonder produced one song each on the mixtape.

Faces includes various spoken word and movie samples interspliced throughout the album. These notably include Charles Bukowski on "Wedding", Hunter S. Thompson at the beginning of "Funeral", and Bill Murray from the 1979 comedy Meatballs at the beginning of "It Just Doesn't Matter".

Schoolboy Q is featured on the third track "Friends", but does not have a verse. Instead he provides ad libs and the 'Miller Mac' chorus, similar to his work on "Pneumonia" off of Danny Brown's 2016 album Atrocity Exhibition.

Ab-Soul is listed as a feature on "Polo Jeans", but only his trademark 'Soul!' ad lib is present at the end of the track. He originally had a full verse on that ended the song, but requested Miller remove it before the album was officially released. The original version with his verse still remains unreleased.

Critical receptionEdit

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
HipHopDX     [7]
Pitchfork Media7.3/10[8]
PopMatters7/10[9]

Faces was met with positive reviews upon release, and noted for its themes and exploration of psychosis, addiction, and mortality. Many regard it as perhaps Mac Miller's greatest work, and laud Miller's unique, jazzy production as some of his best.

Faces has gained significant cult status amongst rap fans as one of the best mixtapes ever released, particularly during the internet mixtape boom of the early 2010s. It was released at the end of a particularly prolific period for Miller and many of his close friends and collaborators in the rap underground, including Earl Sweatshirt, Vince Staples, ScHoolboy Q, and Ab-Soul, all who are featured on Faces. Between 2013-2014, the five of them collaborated on a variety of projects including Vince's Stolen Youth (2013), Earl's Doris (2013), Miller's Watching Movies with the Sound Off (2013), and Ab-Soul's These Days (2014).

Faces was rated the eighteenth best rap album of 2014 by Rolling Stone.[10]

Track listingEdit

  • All tracks written by Malcolm McCormick and produced as Larry Fisherman, except where noted
No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
1."Inside Outside"Thundercat1:55
2."Here We Go"
  • McCormick
  • Andrew Kim
DrewByrd2:48
3."Friends" (featuring Schoolboy Q)
 6:38
4."Angel Dust" (featuring King Ralph of Malibu)  3:43
5."Malibu"  3:31
6."What Do You Do" (featuring Sir Michael Rocks)
 3:50
7."It Just Doesn’t Matter"ID Labs3:37
8."Therapy"
  • McCormick
  • Kulousek
  • Dan
  • Vaughan
ID Labs4:10
9."Polo Jeans" (featuring Earl Sweatshirt and Ab-Soul)randomblackdude3:42
10."Happy Birthday"Rahki2:53
11."Wedding"THC2:53
12."Funeral"  3:44
13."Diablo"  3:18
14."Ave Maria"  2:56
15."55" (featuring Thundercat)
  • McCormick
  • Bruner
  • Larry Fisherman
  • Thundercat
0:53
16."San Francisco"  2:44
17."Colors and Shapes"  5:31
18."Insomniak" (featuring Rick Ross)
Big Jerm4:06
19."Uber" (featuring Mike Jones)
 4:31
20."Rain" (featuring Vince Staples)9th Wonder2:34
21."Apparition"  3:28
22."Thumbalina"  3:06
23."New Faces v2" (featuring Earl Sweatshirt and Dash)
randomblackdude5:31
24."Grand Finale"  3:36
Total length:85:38

NotesEdit

  • "Therapy" features additional vocals by Syd tha Kyd
  • "New Faces v2" features additional vocals by Ab-Soul

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Diablo - Single by MAC MILLER on iTunes". Itunes.apple.com. 2014-09-03. Retrieved 2017-05-10.
  2. ^ EOrtiz (2013-06-19). "Mac Miller - Watching Movies With The Sound Off". HipHopDX. Archived from the original on 2017-05-13. Retrieved 2017-05-10.
  3. ^ Fairfax, Jesse (2014-05-15). "Mac Miller - Faces (Mixtape)". HipHopDX. Retrieved 2017-05-10.
  4. ^ Breihan, Tom (May 14, 2014). "Mixtape Of The Week: Mac Miller Faces". Stereogum, a member of Spin Music, a division of SpinMedia. Retrieved August 23, 2014.
  5. ^ Jenkins, Craig (May 22, 2014). "Mac Miller Faces". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved August 23, 2014.
  6. ^ Stutz, Colin (May 11, 2014). "Mac Miller on New Mixtape 'Faces': 'Don't Tell My Mama I Got a Drug Problem'". Billboard. Retrieved August 23, 2014.
  7. ^ Fairfax, Jesse (2014-05-15). "Mac Miller - Faces (Mixtape)". HipHopDX. Retrieved 2017-05-10.
  8. ^ Craig Jenkins (2014-05-22). "Mac Miller: Faces Album Review". Pitchfork. Retrieved 2017-05-10.
  9. ^ Francesca D'Arcy-Orga (2014-07-22). "Mac Miller: Faces". PopMatters. Retrieved 2017-05-10.
  10. ^ Weingarten, Christopher R. (2014-12-23). "Mac Miller, 'Faces' | 40 Best Rap Albums of 2014". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2017-05-10.