Mac Demarco, ‘Another One’ (Review)
Following up the exceptionalness of Salad Days is a tall task, but Demarco manages well on Another One
Canadian singer/songwriter Mac Demarco has returned with his mini album Another One. Last year Demarco had everybody going gaga over Salad Days, which somehow missed on a Grammy nomination (how!). Another One has big shoes to fill following a critical juggernaut, but considering its Mac Demarco, well he knows how to do his thing quite well.
“The Way You’d Love Her” opens Another One, sounding characteristic of Demarco’s sound. The guitars possess lushness about them signifying the romance, while the harmonic scheme suggests jazz – “jizz jazz” as Demarco would describe his style. Short and to the point, the succinctness bodes well for Mac. Title track “Another One” continues the lush, romantic sound initiated by “The Way You’d Love Her.” There is a R&B sensibility about this cut, which is further amplified by the reverb on Demarco’s vocals. Ultimately though, she doesn’t love him, so Mac states, “Must be another one she loves.”
“No Other Heart” picks up the tempo after the slower “Another One.” The ‘ripe’ sounding guitars characteristic of Demarco’s sound return, cutting through the production work. Buttressing things is a bass line any soul artist would be happy to have on the bottom of their mix. Vocally, Demarco never pushes, singing with poise but not unemotionally either. Lyrically, the chorus remains simple: “Well for one, her heart belongs to another / and no other heart will do.” Who can’t relate to that?
“Just to Put Me Down” once more thrives off its groove and exuberant layered guitar. Thought it’s busy it doesn’t feel cluttered. Separating itself from the other tracks are Demarco’s vocals, where he takes some risks – falsetto and some of his riffs in general. “A Heart Like Hers” slackens the tempo, but keeps the energy alive and well. A pro once more is Demarco’s vocals – particularly his melody that shows off a bit more range. Also is that mellotron and horns? “A Heart Like Hers” FTW! Well, maybe not exactly like hers considering Demarco claims he’ll “never believe in a heart like hers again” based on how she’s treated him – “Tried so hard to believe in something that will never be.”
There’s always push and pull, so naturally “I’ve Been Waiting For Her” accelerates the tempo a bit. Interestingly, this particular song has one of the cleanest, tightest production jobs of the album. Penultimate record “Without Me” keeps it pretty simple: “Will she love me again tomorrow / I don’t know, don’t think so / and that’s fine, fine by me / as long as, long as I know she’s happy, happy.” Another One ends strangely with “My House By The Water,” mostly instrumental, but does include Demarco’s address and invitation: “Stop on by, I’ll make you a cup of coffee. See you later.”
How does Another One stack up? Why it’s another fine Mac Demarco album by all means. Does it supersede Salad Days? Nope, but this mini album – too short to be full-length yet lengthy for an EP – is another fine addition to Mac’s collection and anybody who enjoys sensational alternative music. Those guitars man – perfection!
Gems: “The Way You’d Love Her,” “Another One,” “Just to Put Me Down,” “A Heart Like Hers”