This Old Dog – Mac DeMarco ★★★½

2017This Old DogMac DeMarco★★★½65RockPsychedelic RockIndie Rock

If you want to get a taste of what Mac DeMarco is all about, this album is a perfect sampling of everything he has to offer. It’s 42 minutes of Mac at his most DeMarco-y – chill, intimate bedroom pop vocals, with lo-fi acoustic guitar, bending psychedelic riffs, vaporwave-vibed synth chords and a laid back drum kit.

Like all of his music, This Old Dog is a good summer album to kick back and relax to, whether that’s floating in a pool with a beer, watching the sun go down from the porch or looking up at the stars on a warm night. Some moments are a little more intimate, some a bit more trippy, some more goofy, but it’s all very well stitched together. 

Compared to Mac’s shorter, one-dimensional records of the past, this one feels fully formed sonically and is lyrically more mature. That more manicured feeling might take away a little of the youthful spontaneity found on his previous records, but it also makes This Old Dog more varied, smarter and more relatable. It’s also more somber and reflective than his past works. 

“On the Level” and “For The First Time” have riffs that are as catchy and distinctly Mac DeMarco as those on his past hits, “Chamber of Reflection,” “Freaking Out the Neighborhood” or “The Way You’d Love Her,” while the more personal and a little sadder sounding tracks here like “Still Beating” and “My Old Man” are great songs that he just wouldn’t have been able to pull off earlier in his career. 

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