Over Mac DeMarco’s career since around 2010, his music has been a oddly pleasant juxtaposition of jangly antics and heartfelt songwriting. However, the guy who held a contest for a prize of $0.69 and threw a barbecue release party for all of his fans hasn’t been up to his usual antics as of late. As I wrote in my review of his last record, Another One, “his material is so innocent – songs about young love and break-ups, but his personality is that of a guy who calls his style of music ‘jizz jazz.'”
He might not have followed up Another One with Another Two, like I had joked before, but he does have a song on this record called “One Another,” so while I wasn’t dead on, I did know DeMarco well enough to guess he’d pull some sort of title shenanigan on the next record, so I’d say I got a B+ on that prediction. And that’s the main thing that I love about DeMarco—for all the cheesy, lovelorn lyrics, his real-life personality allows them to feel genuine. Here come the angry comments but… he’s the real-deal Ed Sheeran.
This Old Dog doesn’t stray too far from the musical style of Another One, and his constant consistency (possibly a redundant phrase), is really his strong suit, but there is a deeper working on this record than just a response of “yes, more DeMarco!” The first song on the record, “My Old Man,” lays the framework for what seems like Mac embracing adulthood. With the exceptionally crazy antics appearing less frequently and the love songs filled with more self-awareness, the lyrics of This Old Dog really feel like DeMarco maturing as a songwriter and as a person. With artists constantly reinventing themselves with every release to stay current, all DeMarco does is solidify his unique sound and share how he’s gradually grown. There’s something calming about hearing an artist mature while still being able to remain themselves, and it’s refreshing to hear something so familiar sound so new.