Mac DeMarco – This Old Dog Review 

In his latest studio album, Mac Demarco brings a more relaxed approach than 2014s ‘Salad Days,’ something which I didn’t even think was possible. The album follows the trend of laid-back music, with deep, meaningful lyricism. However, where in the past Demarco went all out on production, this one is very simple with production, giving more power to the lyrics themselves. The album maintains similar traits to his previous work, but employs them differently, allowing for an entirely different experience overall.

​The opening song, ‘My Old Man,’ is a brilliant example of this lyricism. The song itself is one that is very simple musically, including nothing more than an acoustic guitar and a gentle drum beat in the background. The vocals on this particular track contain a degree of passion and reflection to them, making my genuinely think about the meaning behind them. The repeated line “looks like I’m seeing more of my old man in me” leaves genuine pause for thought, and Demarco utilises his voice perfectly here. Similarly, ‘This Old Dog’ is another simplistic, yet powerful track. The lyrics in this sense provide a commentary on human emotion, and is yet more proof that Demarco’s “less is more” approach is effective and meaningful.

​’Still Beating’ provides more in terms of production, and if you have listened to ‘Salad Days,’ will definitely feel more familiar. However, whilst maintaining the high production, it feels somewhat different due to the more cynical application in Demarco’s vocals. ‘On The Level’ also utilises high production and has a tune that stays with you even after the song s finished. There is a distinct uniqueness to the song itself, with it being a clear stand out on the album. The production is matched with simplistic lyrics and vocals that come together to make a good solid piece of music.

​’This Old Dog’ is a good, strong outing by Mac Demarco. Whilst sill keeping familiarities with his previous works, Demarco has made something that seems unique due to its effectiveness. Whilst creative, the album does sometimes lack in variety when it comes to the music itself. However, if you were to sit back, relax and take a listen to the powerful lyrics on each track, you would certainly have a thoughtful and meaningful experience.  

Mac Demarco – This Old Dog = 8/10

Matthew T. Johnston

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