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Posted on August 5th, 2015 (1:00 pm) by Noveen Bajpai

Since the release of his sophomore album 2 in 2012, Mac DeMarco has diligently toured the globe, released Salad Days, and in the process become one of the undisputed darlings of indie-rock. Mac is as talented as he is easy to love—his goofy slacker aesthetic and affinity for starring in short films (check out "Backer"), as well as his penchant for performing classic-rock covers at shows — Bachman-Turner Overdrive's "Takin' Care of Business," Neil Young's "Unknown Legend," and more recently Steely Dan's "Reelin' In The Years" —have given even fans whose musical tastes reside only on the outskirts of indie-rock a reason to take notice. Simply put, he’s a showman of the highest caliber.

On Salad Days, DeMarco mastered the sound that earned him so many plaudits on 2—his knack for churning out whimsical guitar jams that toe the line between psychedelic pop and in-your-face rock & roll make for tracks that are as infectious as they are easy to digest. Now, DeMarco presents us with the mini-LP Another One, and the clearest indication yet of his ever-evolving sound

The album’s opener and lead single "The Way You'd Love Her" will sound familiar to listeners— its bright and airy guitar melodies and love struck lyrics harken back to similar tracks like "Let Her Go" and "Treat Her Better," and itself would not sound out of place had it been included on Salad Days. Likewise, the lazy sunny day saunter on "Just To Put Me Down" showcases Mac’s gift for crafting effortlessly enjoyable pop songs that make up for their one-size-fits-all lyrical fluff with irresistibly colorful melodies.

Dopey, wobbling keys ring out on the title track as Mac croons about his paranoia of being replaced by another lover. Devoid of guitars, “Another One” remains a pleasant outlier amidst DeMarco’s catalogue of primarily guitar-based songs, and while tracks like “Passing Out The Pieces” and “Chamber Of Reflection” gave us a taste of Mac-Piano, Another One sees synthesizers taking up more space than ever.

Perhaps the mini-LP's most intriguing track is “No Other Heart,” a wonderfully crafted slow ballad featuring some of Mac's most accomplished songwriting to date. On it, Mac inhabits different iterations of the same character—one who is urging the woman to let him “put the sparkle right back” in her eye, and another that is acknowledging that her "heart belongs to another/and no other heart will do". It’s a clever bit of craft from an artist with increasingly savvy pop songwriting sensibilities, something that's also evident on "A Heart Like Hers," where bouncy keyboards, echoing guitars, and downtrodden lyrics combine to devastating effect; buoyed by a new found willingness to integrate-in melodic keyboard work, both tracks provide the mini-LP with moments of standout quality.

He’s been pegged as a slacker (rightly) and a stoner (wrongly), but what remains beyond the outgoing caricature of himself he embodies on stage is an artist with a keen understanding of how to best please his growing fan base while still pursuing and remaining true to his own creative leads. Another One does just that; it manages to explore new terrain while also building on familiar sounds that are proven crowdpleasers. Operating under the liberating guise of a mini-LP, Another One isn’t as ambitious as its predecessor Salad Days. There’s more experimentation and less expectation. In turn, the most distinguished moments on Another One occur when Mac elects to blend tried-and-true sounds with his increased affection for keyboards.

Before signing off with the weirdo-synth instrumental piece “My House By The Water,” Mac gives out his address, casually, as only he can do, and invites the world over for a cup of coffee; it’s this kind of cheesy charm that makes Mac such an endearing character, a quality which is fully embraced and harnessed on Another One. The result: a collection of love songs with genuine, lasting appeal.

Track List:

  1. The Way You'd Love Her
  2. Another One
  3. No Other Heart
  4. Just To Put Me Down
  5. A Heart Like Hers
  6. I've Been Waiting For Her
  7. Without Me
  8. My House By The Water

Purchase at: Amazon | eMusic

Our Rating

81 / 100
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