This Old Dog is Mac Demarco’s fourth studio album, and possibly his most diverse yet. Fans have been adjusting to Demarco’s new acoustic edge following his popular releases with a more twisty-turny electric-guitary vibe attached to them. As Mac takes a new direction, will his fans follow?
Opening track My Old Man brings the listener to a warm feeling of reassurance- the wonderful simplicity of the guitar chords and Mac’s oh so soothing voice is enough to lure a person into a lullaby, despite upsetting retrospective lyrics about becoming more like his father despite his wishes not to. This gives the album’s theme a kickstart, and almost guides the listener to understand that this new release is the most melancholic the Canadian singer-songwriter has produced. The album swings on, delivering soothing melodies and pained lyrics, delivering a smile to its recipients, especially during Baby You’re Out which can be regarded as one of the most upbeat tracks on the album.
Mr. Demarco began his descent into himself on his previous mini-album Another One where it was clear he grew more personal than on his prior releases, and This Old Dog continues down this road. Bitter-sweet gem Still Beating shows Mac to bear his heart in a way nobody has yet seen- his relationship troubles pierce, and truly cut to the core, especially as the track comes from as loopy a man as Mac. The decision to pursue a more emotional musical style pays off on this record, as it feels as though a personal confession is being made to the listener.
This Old Dog is a heart-twisting yet jovial album that doesn’t fail to deliver both a fun time and a series of beautiful confessions direct from Mac Demarco’s heart. Across tracks like Dreams from Yesterday and On The Level show Mac as almost a new artist thanks to how different these tracks are from his previous work, and For the First Time is without a doubt one of the best love songs so far this year. This Old Dog, in our books, is a magnificent success. May we raise a glass and light up a viceroy to celebrate the best album Mac Demarco could have delivered.