Album Review: Mac Demarco This Old Dog

I have been waiting for this album for a very very long time. And at last it finally came out on May 5, the day before I went to see Chance The Rapper. Mac Demarco is coming clean in this brand new side of himself in the album This Old Dog. In this album we a given a collective storyline of emotions through all the tracks. From the first song My Old Man to the last in Watching Him Fade Way. I had very very high expectations for his new release since I have saturated myself in the depths of Demarcos past albums.

Looking back at the previous studio albums and even his demo album releases there is a sense of growth and maturity. When I watched a review from The Needle Drop, Anthony said that this albums is more of a growth and story rather than a album with the collections of singles as the tracks. I was very surprised at the cleaner and newer sound of Demarco. There was nothing different than the style of music, but there was a difference in maturity and production of the tracks which I have grown to appreciated more and more as I countinue to listen to this album on repeat. Already I can tell that there is an extensive use of acoustics and synthesizers which bring so much into the table along with the heart felt simplistic lyrics. The first song that captivated my emotions was This Old Dog, from the acoustic guitar strumming in the beginning to the chords changing into the chorus with these lyrics.

Sometimes my love may be put on hold

Sometimes my heart may seem awful cold

These times come and these times go

As long as I live, all you need to know is
This old dog ain’t about to forget

All we’ve had and all that’s next

‘Long as my heart’s beating in my chest

This old dog ain’t about to forget
Often a heart tends to change its mind

A new day decides on a new design

A new day gets set on another way

As long as I live, all I’ve got to say is
This old dog ain’t about to forget

All we’ve had and all that’s next

‘Long as my heart’s beating in my chest

This old dog ain’t about to forget

And of course to carry on the song is a wonderful deep bass line, you always got to have that in the song. I felt different with this Mac, his singing was more sincere and collected. From the first lyrics I felt relatable to how he feels and expresses his loniless in growth and adulthood. This song express the williness to change the way we may feel about our depression and self discovery.


The track Still Beating brought new tears to my eyes. All I can say is that this guitar is incredible. I was talking to my boyfriend and out of no where he said that this song was fucking amazing. And it is, one of the most deepest and emotional songs I have heard from him talking about his love life. From what I researched about the song and the lyrics, this song is an apology and claim that even his heart still beats for her. He says in one verse

I never thought some silly songs could ever go and hurt someone

I never meant to sing my tune for anybody else out there but you

It could mean literal songs or even his actions in their current relationship. Maybe his intention and actions he was doing for fun really offended his girlfriend and even questioned their own relationship. It is such a sentimental and heartbreaking emotional song. This type of feeling happens in other tracks such as Sister, and Watching Him Fade Away, with only a synthetic piano playing in the background or guitar. In the song Watching Him Fade Away we get a view of him talking about his past and current non relationship with his father. Another mention of his father happening in the albums first song My Old Man, where Mac Demarco begins to reflect on his own actions in similarity with his father and how we realizes this and wants to stop this representation of himself. This album there is a continuous stretch over many concepts of emotion, anxiety, depression, past experiences and love.


There is also some numbers of love songs such as For the First Time, One More Love Song, and even Still Beating. For the First Time‘s psychedelic synthesizers and piano sing about the sight of their lover, even for the first time after some time that they have been apart . In One More Love Song, its another slow dream-like track speaking about love and falling in and out of love which is out to break your heart. In the mist of these love songs there is even a closer meaning other than love, self love and the effort to move away from the past. This is seen in the songs Dreams of Yesterday, On the Level, Moonlight on the River, and One Another. As a occurring theme of moving forward and growing these songs represent that yes you may have been through things and experience hate and love and loneliness, but one should get back up at stop crying about things that you couldn’t control before.

It may seem that these songs are slow, sad and deep but in reality they are all such great song to chill to, to think about. One of the most fast paced songs is A Wolf Who Wears Sheeps Clothes with a pretty slick bass entrance. Through out the song it is very projective and upbeat and I did not expecting the song to sound like that the first time I listened to it, even the harmonica surprised me. However, I think the song pulled off. Even the first track, My Old Man, has brought some momentum in the music as it goes on to the chorus of:

Uh oh, looks like I’m seeing more of my old man in me
Oh no, looks like I’m seeing more of my old man in me
One thing that I love about this album is the way Mac Demarco presented his vocals in all his songs. In a sense it was calmer and closer to his wider range of a voice he has. Some of the deeper parts of his register was showcased. He sounded gentle to what he was saying as if he was showing care and spotlight to what he was saying. This brought  attention to the lyrics and overall meaning of what the song was trying to say.
After listening to the album a number of times I have grown accustomed to the songs. These are the songs in my top order: (from what I choose to listen to the most)
  1. This Old Dog
  2. Still Beating
  3. My Old Man
  4. On The Level
  5. For The First Time
  6. One More Love Song
  7. Moonlight On The River
  8. One Another 
  9. Baby Your Out
  10. Dreams of Yesterday
  11. A Wolf Who Wears Sheeps Clothes
  12. Watching Him Fade Away
  13. Sister   

Thank you for coming to the end of this review. Sorry if I might be all over the place. I do recommend listing to this album if you want to know more about Mac Demarco just to get a taste for him. If you would like to know what other songs to listen to, just let me know and I can give some recommendations of other songs I like. I believe that this has to be his best album and I would rate it a 9 out of 10. If you don’t think so then oh well, its just my opinion on it.
Thanks Guys!

Give it a listen, give music a chance.

H

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