By Raushan Melton
Mac Demarco hits the mark with his relaxed, new album “This Old Dog”.
“This Old Dog” impresses listeners with a refined and mature sound, but still doesn’t stray far from Demarco’s traditionally lazy style. However, the album seems to lack the vivacious spirit found within his former albums.
Mac Demarco is a Canadian-based singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer. In 2011, after self releasing one album, “Heat Wave,” Demarco began his musical career while working small jobs to make ends meet.
Demarco first found success with the release of his 2014 EP “Salad Days,” debuting with the single, “Passing Out Pieces.” The album, alongside his previous album, “2,” was deemed as the “Best New Music” by music magazine Pitchfork.
“This Old Dog” generates a refreshing atmosphere with the track “My Old Man,” which surprisingly consists of a cleaner acoustic guitar than his traditional sound. Though perhaps less rambunctious than previous songs, it sets the quota for the tone of the album’s entirety.
Two tracks later, “Baby You’re Out” showcases the bluesy, jazz-influenced sound that Demarco has emulated within previous albums. However, this track sounds less teenage, and instead exemplifies his musical maturity with his polished instrumentals and vocals.
“Sister,” running a quick minute and 18 seconds, is an introspective and emotional pause for the album. Due to the album sounding perhaps too lazy for its mature aspects, this small track helps the album generate a more personal, sentimental touch of Demarco’s as he croons, “wish there was more that I could do.”
Echoing vocals, a delicate piano and weeping guitar in “One More Love Song” highlight Demarco’s talent of curating music that all seems to blend together. With a soft and lulling pull to it, Demarco’s soft voice sounds fragile when paired with velvety instruments as he sings, “Is one more love out to break your heart? Set it up just to watch it fall apart.”
Combining a harmonica and cowbell, “A Wolf Who Wears Sheep’s Clothes” strays the farthest from Demarco’s 2010-hipster style by sounding more like late 70s classic rock. This sound, though well produced and intricate, doesn’t perfectly fit the cookie-cutter angsty teenage prototype Demarco falls under, and seems out of place for the album. Instead, his
“For The First Time” brings out a melting bass line and lazy, soft drums, but it fails to excite listeners due to a lack of spontaneity. Though this song is calm and peaceful, it seems to blend in as background humming rather than an impressive stand alone track. This is disappointing for Demarco, as his previous work typically lets each song shine.
“This Old Dog” doesn’t disappoint with its casual, soft rock style and afternoon sound. Though not the most notable work of Demarco, “This Old Dog” resonates previous albums in a mature way.
“This Old Dog” can be streamed on Spotify or for purchase on iTunes for $9.99.