Smooth rolling singer-songwriter duuude Mac DeMarco has a new record out, even though it was just a year since the last! Excellent work ethic. Another One has eight fine tracks of his sauntering melancholy style, featuring not a note from anybody but DeMarco himself: a real solo album! Out on Captured Tracks.
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The wobbler is at it again, tightroping his guitar and trying to fix his heart. ‘Another One’ follows up a record that seemed to raise Mac DeMarco to indie pop’s celestial plane; ‘Salad Days’, as it was called, did nothing to revolutionise his sound but was warm, fuzzy and nostalgic, so no one complained. Now he’s back with a short follow-up of lovelorn songs that sound like he’s got his head down on the desk. How does it sound? It sounds like a dejected dude who doesn’t really care about what he’s saying but believes in its significance anyway.
Moments are sublime: the subdued keyboard of the record’s title track is joined by a pillow-soft production that makes the song’s fairly uninventive vibe irrelevant. It’s a gorgeous lounge number that recalls “Chamber of Reflection” and “Go Easy” but at a slower heart-rate. Other moments seem to combine this new, warm piano rock, which quotes Steely Dan in excess, with the DeMarco way: his guitar trembles magnificently on “No Other Heart” but the piano lends the feeling of some dude laying down chords in the middle of a bar.
Elsewhere, DeMarco is feeling his playful self: “Just To Put Me Down” rolls off riffs like lists as DeMarco reaches into untenable octaves of his voice and then just starts ad libbing. It’s enjoyable enough, but it’s probably more fun for him to perform that it is for us to listen to. That’s how I feel about ‘Another One’ in general: it’s calm and collected, which is DeMarco all over, but at a point relaxing indie garners diminishing returns, and stay-at-home pop songs sound like John Lennon gone solo. Also, he gives out his home address at the end of the record, so I went to hang out with him and he told me that this review sucks.
6/10 Alex Alderson Customer review, 10th July 2015
Compared with previous releases Another One is a more subdued listen than his previous releases. The album is about love and loss, six of the eight tracks make reference to love, hearts, or relationships. With this the album listened to in its entirety is more melodic and morose than his previous records. This is not to say that any song or the album as a whole is boring however. DeMarco crafts catchy choruses which flow well from the verses and are often more upbeat than the other parts of the songs.
The first five songs are on par with the standard of his previous work but tracks six and seven 'I've Been Waiting For Her' and 'Without Me' fall short of the previous songs. Given that they continue in the slow pace of the previous five songs, the final nine minutes of the album feels repetitive.
Overall Another One fails to build on the quality of Salad Days but DeMarco rewards listeners with a surprise by the end of the album which Mac fans will love. If you like Mac DeMarco you will listen to this album without reading any reviews. If you're new to him though start with Salad Days or 2 first otherwise you'll assume he only writes slow songs with slick choruses, which would be a disservice to his previous work.
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