This Old Dog

Mac DeMarco - This Old Dog
Critic Score
Based on 31 reviews
2017 Ratings: #221 / 725
User Score
Based on 653 ratings
2017 Ratings: #119
May 5, 2017 / Release Date
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For all the substance and appeal of his previous work, nothing quite stacks up to what DeMarco has generated here, on what is an album that demonstrates just how far his ambitions lie beyond simply churning out effervescent pop numbers. Intimate and endearingly honest, ‘This Old Dog’ is Mac DeMarco’s most essential chapter of slacker gospel yet.
With a fresh approach and a renewed outlook on life, DeMarco reaches a whole other level of cool, lush calm as well as an unprecedented degree of maturity and introspection.
The 405

This Old Dog represents the clearest expression of DeMarco’s “darker” side. Unimpeded by groovy electric guitar riffs or lithe bass parts, most of the songs here play out with little more than an acoustic guitar and a drum machine. It is like DeMarco got out of his own way, eager for his voice to be heard.


Without the typically busy electric guitar runs, This Old Dog uncovers much more of DeMarco’s enlightening lyricism, laying bare his emotive underbelly with opuses drenched in California malaise and millennial indifference.

Pretty Much Amazing

It’s on This Old Dog where DeMarco really hits his stride as one of music’s most heartfelt and self-aware auteurs.

Drowned in Sound

This Old Dog is the sound of an artist on top of his game. An artist shedding every inch of wackiness from his bone and sounding all the better for it.

It’s clear by now that DeMarco can conquer two different forms. He can be the good-time, goofy guy with a reputation that precedes him, or he can be an earnest songwriter with serious bite. ‘This Old Dog’ sees him conquering this more mature side, without even a shade of boring.
The Guardian

This melancholic approach – serious themes, stoned demeanour – seems a smart way to reposition himself.


This Old Dog is a logical continuation of DeMarco's musical explorations, but the maturation of his songwriting is what gives it gravitas.


DeMarco’s latest has a rich emotional life that will reveal itself over time. This Old Dog indeed has some new tricks in it.


‘This Old Dog’ still has whispers of Mac DeMarco’s usual chirpy guitar licks and strutting rhythms - but beyond that, it goes deeper and sees our protagonist at his most mellow and introspective.


It’s a mature, expertly crafted and thought provoking album, one that asks interesting questions about family and romantic relationships through distinctive, melodic and accessible songs.

The Observer

The LA-based singer-songwriter steps away from his Beavis and Butthead onstage persona to make a thoughtful, tender and musically tight third album.


On his third album, the antics of Mac DeMarco are muted in favor of his impeccable songwriting, which shines through more than ever with warmth and precision.


His music might be maturing, but scratch beneath the surface and Mac DeMarco is still the adorable young scamp we fell in love with.

Northern Transmissions

It’s hard to see how This Old Dog will be received and remembered in DeMarco’s discography, as it lacks the early energy of 2 or the immediate accessibility of Salad Days. What it does offer, however, is the most self-reflective version of DeMarco to date.

Under The Radar

With This Old Dog, his distinctly DeMarco brand of baroque-infused folk is still built for the pauses in life but it feels a little steadier, and a little more self-aware.

The Line of Best Fit

Changes in timbre aside, those expecting a progression or departure in sound from the last two Mac releases will find them subtle, if present at all. But frankly, as with its sensitive and charismatic creator, it’s hard not to like This Old Dog from the start.

Consequence of Sound
With more daring songwriting and cleaner studio sound, Mac DeMarco has created the most polished version of his signature sound we have heard to date.
God Is in the TV

The relentless optimism of Salad Days has shifted, and what we have on This Old Dog is a more complex exploration of life, with all its vicissitudes and changes. We all grow up, even this optimistic oddball.

Loud and Quiet

For most of ‘This Old Dog’, Mac brings the mood all the way down to beanbag listening. It’s not his unplugged album, but it’s pretty close, where his pitchy electric guitar has become a warm acoustic one.

Crack Magazine

As a songwriter, he’s ahead of many of his peers, and This Old Dog is his best record yet.

The Needle Drop

Mac DeMarco matures as a songwriter on This Old Dog, his best album since 2.

A.V. Club

On this very earnest effort, his easygoing nature may have gotten the better of him: He’s made a laid-back album that is probably best listening to lying down, halfway into a nap.

The Skinny

The tunes here are wistful and sobering, indicative of a man at odds with the boyish persona that has followed him to fame.

Slant Magazine

In shifting away from his lush psychedelia-tinged arrangements in favor of slowly strummed acoustic guitar and gentle, glistening synths, the singer goes smaller and more intimate with his sound, an approach which yields both poignant and melodramatic results.

Rolling Stone

DeMarco's weed-y lazy-day croon can be a little too tongue-in-cheek. He's best when he's more earnest, both lyrically and melodically, as on "My Old Man," a sweet shoulder shrug toward the harsh reality of turning into your dad.

Tiny Mix Tapes

Despite having moments that tip it toward being his most “challenging” album lyrically (if being challenging has anything to do with being serious), This Old Dog might be his least interesting instrumentally and musically.

This album was really nice :) 👍. This probably has to be his most mature and personal album to date and has some of his best songs yet.

I thought the Song-Writing was very nice, the lyrics were very heartfelt and charming, (something I thought was lacking in Here Comes The Cowboy.) the themes of Love and growing old was done very nicely on this album, just really good stuff.

I also found the instrumentals of these songs pretty decent, for the most part. I really liked the organic acoustic ... read more
Wow, I actually really like this. I've never listened to Mac Demarco before in my life, this new album of his is my introduction, and I found it really pleasant and captivating. The looped instrumentals all over this album are really soothing to me and very nicely produced, I think there's enough variation in the grooves all over this album to keep it consistently interesting as well. They're definitely more enjoyable to me than another certain recently released folk album *cough* Pure Comedy ... read more
Emotional and intimate, yes it can be a bit slow but it might just be Mac's most heartfelt record.

Best Track: This Old Dog
Worst Track: Sister
Given the right time and place I could see this growing on me. Right now though I'm not feeling it. Seems too relaxed with every song kind of sounding the same and being quite forgettable.

Favourite tracks: My Old Man, On the Level

Edit: this grew on me so much more than I expected... Lyrically its his most personal and intimate and instrumentally I found it to gradually become more and more catchy. I won't doubt you so quickly ever again Mac
Perfect music for shaking your ass alone at 3 in the morning.
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Track List

  1. My Old Man
  2. This Old Dog
  3. Baby You're Out
  4. For the First Time
  5. One Another
  6. Still Beating
  7. Sister
  8. Dreams from Yesterday
  9. A Wolf Who Wears Sheeps Clothes
  10. One More Love Song
  11. On the Level
  12. Moonlight on the River
  13. Watching Him Fade Away
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Added on: January 31, 2017