Salad Days

Mac DeMarco - Salad Days
Critic Score
Based on 23 reviews
2014 Ratings: #94 / 845
Year End Rank: #18
User Score
Based on 760 ratings
2014 Ratings: #29
April 1, 2014 / Release Date
LP / Format
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A.V. Club

Though DeMarco certainly hasn’t ditched his slacker aesthetic, Salad Days is nonetheless a strikingly mature achievement for the 23-year-old.


The guitar sounds throughout Salad Days are pristine, the lyrics sublime and the vocals… the Lennon-isms are often befuddling but they can only be applauded.


With songs touching on themes of maturation, life in the public eye, and good old-fashioned romance, DeMarco has trimmed the fat both musically and conceptually on Salad Days, turning in a streamlined picture of his musical development.


Mac DeMarco might be the wild and crazy showman on stage, but Salad Days shows there's plenty of tenderness behind that shit-eating, gap-toothed grin.


Sweet, soulful little man that he is, Mac knows better than to let his bellyaching get in the way of everyone else's good time — instead, he’s simply dialled down the quirk and written his best record yet.

Loud and Quiet

This is an LP combining the pop artist’s unashamed desire to occupy your head all day long and the storyteller’s authenticity, with astounding, electrifying skill.


His second full-length, Salad Days, isn’t a departure from its predecessor so much as a richer, increasingly assured refinement. For all its internal contradictions, Salad Days is no more or less than a great album in a tradition of no-big-deal great albums.

Under The Radar

The results are a wistful, free-wheeling and intimate snapshot of DeMarco's psyche-an album that is more complex than you might assume, but more rewarding for it.

Pretty Much Amazing

For all the pomp and circumstance preceding Salad Days, this is still an album that DeMarco recorded in his Brooklyn walkup. It’s a record that boasts glaring maturity without diminishing the iconic immaturity.

The Line of Best Fit

The record also proves that maturity does not mean creative death – this is complete album and in many ways his best.


The songs only sound sleeker, more melodic, more intensely stoned. That's DeMarco in sum, and thankfully he's not retreating into his shell just yet.


His patron saints appear to be Harry Nilsson and yacht rockers like 10cc, and rarely are either channeled with this little cheese and this much panache. He merges these influences with what's quickly become his signature guitar sound, an effortless style that can be playfully discordant.

No Ripcord

The romantic in De Marco is now very much a presence in his life, far from it being a farce, and adroitly balances those feelings of solitude and intimacy by clasping dearly to the everyday proportions that make his life complete.


The lazy melodies, off-kilter vocals and haphazard, plaintive strumming all converge to produce a record of fragmented brilliance.

The Guardian

Salad Days isn't the stuff of mainstream success, but it strongly suggests his cult is only going to get bigger.


This is art that is confidently immature, and it begs the question: why can’t sophomoric art still be great? 


The progression that Salad Days shows is encouraging, even if the album starts to peter out at the end. 

Rolling Stone

Salad Days is packed with wry, knowing lyrics and washed-out vocals, like a meeting of Stephen Malkmus and Marc Bolan.

Wondering Sound

He uses humor and bemused detachment to hint at a deeper pathos he can’t (or won’t) articulate in his oft-beautiful, always slippery songs.

Northern Transmissions

Salad Days loses a lot of the patently ridiculous persona that DeMarco has put so earnestly into his previous releases. In itself, it’s not a terrible loss, because the end result is a high-polish pop album that is more cohesive than any of his older work.

Consequence of Sound

It’s a half-baked portrait of a creative personality rung dry and yet still yearning for something new. It’s rare to see an identity crisis like this so early in the career of a promising artist, but DeMarco doesn’t spend time wallowing.

Time Out London

The chord changes aren’t as sharp, the melodies not as direct, the lyrics not as catchy. By the end you almost feel as tired as him. He still has an incredible ear for a melody, it’s just not as fun as it used to be.

As much as I hate to admit it, I love this album.

Edit: oh how this album grew off of me
Mac is the real deal. He's not only a fantastic lyricist, he has a knack for writing an extremely catchy tune. "2" was one of my favourite albums of 2012, and this is the exact kind of follow-up I was hoping for.

Mac is more mature on this LP, writing about the mundaneness of life, the blissfulness of love and other topics that are very relatable. He has such an interesting way of telling these tales that sets him apart from the rest. I just love his style.

Some of my favourite ... read more
He owns the current and most interesting sounds of indie today. People attempt to replicate his style and when you listen to Salad Days, you will know why. Salad Days kicks off when the the track with the same name with the very beginning kicking off with the lyrics and a guitar string. You are put right there in the action. The sounds here are so wavy and hypnotic. You will feel so serene and at peace listening to this river boy's music. A damn classic, but honestly, which of his albums aren't ... read more
Loved every song in the album especially track 9 chamber of reflection
Mark my words, this is going to be my "Dad rock" for me one day. Sarcastic and making fun of people who over blow things for attention. I may not smoke or drink (and I hope I keep hygiene)but I'll be playing this quietly on the speakers after I tend to the garden while drinking some sort of Carmel coffee concoction of destruction. What a time to be alive.
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Track List

  1. Salad Days
  2. Blue Boy
  3. Brother
  4. Let Her Go
  5. Goodbye Weekend
  6. Let My Baby Stay
  7. Passing Out Pieces
  8. Treat Her Better
  9. Chamber of Reflection
  10. Go Easy
  11. Johnny's Odyssey
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Added on: January 21, 2014