There is one main criticism you can point out on all Mac DeMarco records: the songs always sound kind of samey. A very watery stoner-rock like guitar tone, fuzzy lo-fi production values, and the mumbling vocals which kind of remind you of John Lennon but also kind of don’t.
All these things are true on Another One, and in fact sometimes I felt all the songs on the record had the exact same tempo. Some will say DeMarco is branching out with this album, but to be honest he doesn’t leave his comfort zone at all. He employs tricks we heard on past albums, and this time the centerpiece is this organ that’s barely there. In many ways, the album reflects his attitude – laid back and slightly nonchalant, not thinking that he has to push any boundaries after his breakthrough 2 and it’s subsequent follow up Salad Days.
However, the fact that Mac DeMarco sounds so different from pretty much every other artist in the indie scene stops Another One from becoming just a completely generic break-up album. You can’t help feeling it’s a something bit more. The opener is way too bouncy for your standard issue break-up album, but honestly it isn’t too exciting until DeMarco decides to yelp and let out a nice little solo which just about covers up the just-average lyrical content:
How’s your heart been beating? How’s your skin been keeping? How’s the dream been going since you’ve come back home this time?
A lot of the songs are like that – kind of boring until he pulls something out from his sleeve to make a bit better. 4 of the tracks on this 8 track album follow the same light-hearted vibe of ‘The Way You’d Love Her’, whilst the rest are have a kind of balladic sentimentality. ‘No Other Heart’ opens with a nice bluesy riff that is just gentle enough to make it sound almost child-like, the teenage innocence and lovesick vibes coming through clearly in the lyrics as he croons “I’ll put the sparkle right back in your eyes, what could you lose?”.
DeMarco closes out the record with an instrumental, which opens aptly with sounds of flowing water – the music takes on a decidedly different, more dark tone from the rest of the album, but the end of the track is what most people are talking. Mac leaves his address for people to stop by at, where he promises a cup of coffee. That probably shows as good as anything why people like Mac DeMarco; he (appears) down to earth, he appears to not care, at least not enough to worry about some psycho fans coming to his house. This persona might have worn some fans out, but you have to admire his commitment.
So, yes, he doesn’t try anything new, but it’s most definitely a polished album, considering he wrote all the songs in a week or so – so as you listen to at least one of these tracks on repeat, just keep Mac DeMarco’s gap-toothed smirk in your mind.
This article was written by Mo Hafeez