Moving on

“Come Back to Earth” is a solid opening for “Swimming” a 13-track album by Mac Miller. While I thoroughly enjoy the album, none of the remaining 12 tracks compare to the rawness and vulnerability conveyed throughout this song. The song starts out strong and provides a refreshing contrast to songs found on prior albums “GO:OD AM” and the “Divine Feminine” which articulates the lust and lavishness of life. The speaker in this piece is the writer himself, however, I do believe that it’s subjective to how you interpret the piece and how/if you relate to it.

The melancholy tone of the song remains stagnant, and when analyzing and listening to the lyrics it served as an aid in understanding the meaning of the piece as a whole. I went back and forth with myself unable to come to a conclusion until finally, I settled upon the speaker not only conveying their want to find peace of mind, but also the struggle that came with it as it caused them to have to accept and move on from the past.

The song opens and closes with statements that I assume many can relate to:

My regrets look just like texts I shouldn’t send
And I got neighbors, they’re more like strangers
We could be friends
I just need a way out
Of my head
I’ll do anything for a way out
Of my head

The syntax of the lyrics while fairly simple conveys an idea that I feel is extremely relatable. That idea being that: Regrets are all consuming they take your choices and make you question the validity of what you’ve done and open the gates for self doubt to set it. Miller comparing regrets to unsent texts articulates how when you have/haven’t done something you know you should/shouldn’t have done (much like texts you want to send but are afraid to) the unknown and the what if’s consume you and leave you unsettled making it harder to move on from the past. Furthermore, Miller’s depiction of neighbors signifies how you can be surrounded by people and still feel alone and out of place. Both constantly causing turmoil as they can lead one to overthink and produce unwanted thoughts they can’t stop.

Miller goes on to speak about the feeling of temporary relief:

And I was drownin’, but now I’m swimmin’
Through stressful waters to relief

The two lines are what I woulds say are the most powerful words sung in this piece. I think they metaphorically represent calm before the storm, the temporary moments of feeling free; like you can finally move on before spiraling and giving into temptation/unwanted thoughts. I overall felt these lines resonated with me the most.

Prior to reiterating the first verse while the tone remains melancholy Miller continues to express his anxiety and internal struggles:

Grey skies are driftin’, not livin’ forever
They told me it only gets better

I think by personifying the sky Miller’s vulnerable state is being articulated as it shows a raw view of how he’s struggling to organize and understand his thoughts. All of which I feel ultimately ties back to wanting to accept the past and use it to move on and grow and the simultaneous struggle there is to find peace with the past.

2 thoughts on “Moving on

  1. Grace H.

    I think your analysis is really compelling. I already love this song, but you added a depth I never considered. Also, I think the way you compared the verse to “the calm before the storm,” is really powerful.

    Like

  2. I really agree that this is poetry! He used lots of literary elements such as personification and metaphors. I also just think that he was a lyrical genius and wrote with a deeper meaning than most other artists.

    Like

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