Album Review: Mac Demarco – This Old Dog

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Mac Demarco just released his fourth studio album yesterday, and it is a decent album full of folk, country-esque acoustic guitars and simplistic laid back drumming, along with the signature loud, droning, psychedelic synth hooks that make Mac Demarco stand out among his peers. This is Mac’s first album that was mostly recorded in his Los Angeles home after his departure from New York City. The result is a much more clean and warm album that is different from his previous work, but still contains his charm and passion for creating music.

“This Old Dog” is much more clean and polished in production compared to when compared to his previous studio albums that were considered “lo-fi”. This new album does not fit the “lo-fi” label, and while it still possesses Indie Rock aspects, it is a good change for Mac’s career in my opinion. The album begins with “My Old Man”, a song that tells the story about Mac Demarco’s sudden realization after looking in the mirror one day that, despite his wishes, he is beginning to look like his father, a person who he revisits on the final track of this album. Mac Demarco also discuses aging and changes on the album’s titular track “This Old Dog”, a song which could have been written in response to his move from New York to Los Angeles, along with the change in sound that followed it. If I am being honest in my review of this album, I really didn’t like the song “One More Love Song”. It is just completely out of my tastes; I am not a fan of the piano in the song or Mac’s vocals. The song just comes off to me as a mediocre ballroom dance song with only little bits and pieces of Mac Demarco thrown in here and there. “Sister” was another song that made me uncomfortable, if I would even consider it a worthy enough song to be on this great album. It only has one verse to it and I understand the lyrics are a tribute to his sister but I wasn’t into it. “Sister” is just going to be that one song I delete from the tracklist and pretend it wasn’t on there to begin with. 

Then you have my favorite song off this album, “A Wolf Who Wears Sheep’s Clothes”. It sounds nothing like any of the other songs on the album and has a strong blues and folk sound to it with it’s unique backing percussion and the mellow harmonica hooks. This song is one of my all time favorite Mac Demarco songs and sort of reminds me of a 21st century Bob Dylan song. “Moonlight on The River” is a nice psychedelic folk track that has an unforgettable final two minutes where he allows all hell to let loose on guitar while utilizing heavy delay and reverb in an artistic, jazzy, and noisy manner just before the song abruptly ends and eases into the album’s closer, which is a beautiful, minimal song, about Mac’s troubled relationship with his father.

“This Old Dog” is a fantastic and creative album that I think I will continue to listen to on a regular basis, and I recommend it to anyone who is looking for a nice laid back album that is psychedelic without going overboard, and has a nice pleasing production quality that I have a high appreciation for.

Release Date: 5 May 2017

Genres: Jizz Jazz, Psychedelic Pop, Indie Rock, Psychedelic Folk.

Tracklist:

  1. My Old Man
  2. This Old Dog
  3. Baby You’re Out
  4. For the First Time
  5. One Another
  6. Still Beating
  7. Sister
  8. Dreams from Yesterday
  9. A Wolf Who Wears Sheep’s Clothes
  10. One More Love Song
  11. On the Level
  12. Moonlight on the River
  13. Watching Him Fade Away

Track Highlights: My Old Man, This Old Dog, For The First Time, A Wolf Who Wears Sheep’s Clothes, Moonlight on the River, Watching Him Fade Away.

i. e. 8.2/10

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