Metascore
79

Generally favorable reviews - based on 24 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 24
  2. Negative: 0 out of 24
Buy On
  1. May 3, 2017
    90
    Intimate and endearingly honest, This Old Dog is Mac DeMarco’s most essential chapter of slacker gospel yet.
  2. May 3, 2017
    90
    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.
  3. May 4, 2017
    85
    DeMarco has shifted his musical style in a way that does not feel forced or as though he lost anything in the process. In fact, he feels though he is more refined than ever, offering beautiful and heartbreaking sentiments with a remarkable economy of language, all the while delivering another sonic masterpiece that will undoubtedly soundtrack all too many summer soirees this year.
  4. May 15, 2017
    80
    DeMarco has always worn his talent lightly, but finally he sounds focused, reflecting on relationships like a millennial Cat Stevens, particularly those with his absent father and his long-term girlfriend.
  5. Q Magazine
    May 9, 2017
    80
    These are languidly addictive songs that barely seem there on first listen but soon emerge from the mist to take up residence in your life. [Jul 2017, p.107]
  6. May 9, 2017
    80
    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.
  7. May 5, 2017
    80
    Iit goes deeper and sees our protagonist at his most mellow and introspective.
  8. May 5, 2017
    80
    Don’t let its modest exterior fool you: DeMarco’s latest has a rich emotional life that will reveal itself over time. This Old Dog indeed has some new tricks in it.
  9. May 4, 2017
    80
    Some of the most affecting writing of Mac’s career.
  10. May 4, 2017
    80
    This melancholic approach--serious themes, stoned demeanour--seems a smart way to reposition himself.
  11. May 4, 2017
    80
    In all, This Old Dog is a logical continuation of DeMarco's musical explorations, but the maturation of his songwriting is what gives it gravitas.
  12. This Old Dog is mostly a gorgeous, perfectly paced record for lazy days outside. But every so often a moment of madness slips in, and this gives the Canadian an edge over his peers.
  13. Mojo
    Apr 28, 2017
    80
    The changing seasons--and death--haunt This Old Dog without ever hamstringing its perfectly weighted, sometimes deceptively chipper grooves. [Jun 2017, p.94]
  14. Apr 28, 2017
    80
    This Old Dog plays soft and sweet; but its rheumy eyes betray the pain.
  15. Uncut
    Apr 28, 2017
    80
    This Old Dog is an admirable exertion. [Jun 2017, p.28]
  16. May 4, 2017
    79
    There’s nothing particularly wrong with This Old Dog, it’s more that DeMarco is keeping his sights low. Some people might appreciate this record more than his last two, with the extra refinement of the sound, others may prefer the earlier stuff, which had a bit more humor and with lyrics that painted more colorful pictures.
  17. 75
    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.
  18. 75
    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.
  19. Magnet
    May 18, 2017
    70
    The more significant development is one of subtle, writerly progression. [No. 142, p.53]
  20. Apr 28, 2017
    70
    It feels a little steadier, and a little more self-aware. [Apr-Jun 2017, p.79]
  21. May 10, 2017
    67
    None of these songs rank among DeMarco’s best melodies, but like the winning Salad Days bedroom-pop exercise “Let My Baby Stay,” they meld vocal style, lyric, and arrangement into something that feels authentic.
  22. May 4, 2017
    60
    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.
  23. May 3, 2017
    60
    Hazier, more hypnotic, and like most sequels--yeah--not as effective, it’s hamstrung by an uncharacteristically grating synth refrain. While not bad, it’s hard to shake the feeling of déjà vu.
  24. May 25, 2017
    50
    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.
User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 117 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 10 out of 117
  1. May 6, 2017
    9
    I'm not really sure why the critics gave this album lukewarm reviews. I personally think it's Mac at his songwriting peak. I suppose theseI'm not really sure why the critics gave this album lukewarm reviews. I personally think it's Mac at his songwriting peak. I suppose these song's don't have the same urgency as some other album's but there's definitely an arching melancholy, more mature songwriting approach to this album. It feels like his most real, most organic approach. He said that YMO and James Taylor were two huge influences for this album and let me tell you, the combo definitely lends to the writing and vibe of this album Full Review »
  2. May 6, 2017
    10
    This is a fantastic album. Most artists who try to evolutionise their sound tend to disappoint and go off the tracks musically, but MacThis is a fantastic album. Most artists who try to evolutionise their sound tend to disappoint and go off the tracks musically, but Mac DeMarco has managed to create a more slow and intimate album without truely losing grip on his musical roots **** Mac DeMarco has really proven that he is one of the young talented artists to be reckoned with, especially since we're in a generation where those young pop/rock prodigies are fading away. Full Review »
  3. May 5, 2017
    10
    I'm not sure if it was my personal hype and excitement for this album, or being high on nyquil, but something about this album made me giddy.I'm not sure if it was my personal hype and excitement for this album, or being high on nyquil, but something about this album made me giddy. The jangly guitar, the great vocals, the way the drums and bass are almost a single instrument. Mac obviously put a lot more work into this album, and it really paid off. Full Review »