User Score
8.2

Universal acclaim- based on 128 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 10 out of 128
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  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 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 twoI'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 Expand
  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 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 whereThis 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. Expand
  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. 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.
  4. May 5, 2017
    8
    While This Old Dog isn't as magical as Mac's earlier material it is another great album. It's more somber and less energetic than his earlier work, but it's more quality jangle-pop from one of the music world's better new artists.
  5. Feb 21, 2018
    10
    With 2017's This Old Dog, Mac Demarco demonstrates what his long-time fans have known for awhile now - his knack for writing a heartfelt tune that James Taylor or John Lennon would be proud of. While taking the laid-back vibes of Salad Days forward, he strips down to the acoustic guitar for much of this album with great success, while also including some of the keyboard hooks ("For theWith 2017's This Old Dog, Mac Demarco demonstrates what his long-time fans have known for awhile now - his knack for writing a heartfelt tune that James Taylor or John Lennon would be proud of. While taking the laid-back vibes of Salad Days forward, he strips down to the acoustic guitar for much of this album with great success, while also including some of the keyboard hooks ("For the First Time", "One More Love Song") that 2015's Another One helped propel him to stardom in the indie rock community. For all of Mac's goofy and downright crazy tendencies, at the center lies a fine songwriter with a knack for writing reflective tunes, and This Old Dog stands as his most consistent and musically deep album.

    For newcomers to Mac, I recommend checking out "One Another", "Still Beating", "For the First Time", and "Moonlight on the River" with the closing track "Watching Him Fade Away".
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  6. Jul 27, 2017
    8
    It still does have the same issue I had with Another One, that being it's a bit trite based on the composition and production. But lyrically it is probably his strongest, based on the more mature themes going on, especially with songs focused on his dad (My Old Man and Watching Him Fade Away). I wouldn't say it is better than 2 or Salad Days, mainly because I felt that there were strongerIt still does have the same issue I had with Another One, that being it's a bit trite based on the composition and production. But lyrically it is probably his strongest, based on the more mature themes going on, especially with songs focused on his dad (My Old Man and Watching Him Fade Away). I wouldn't say it is better than 2 or Salad Days, mainly because I felt that there were stronger songs that stood out there, but still another solid effort from the man. Expand
  7. Jul 6, 2017
    9
    This Old Dog is quite a sad and depressing tracklist once you tend an ear to Mac's heartfelt lyrics. But there is still just that ounce of goof to make this album such a great listen.
  8. Aug 2, 2017
    9
    Another fantastic album from Mr. Mac Demarco. The vibe is comparable to his past work, but his lyrics are more matured, and his energy is more focused and controlled. Not a bad track on this album.
  9. May 9, 2017
    8
    ‘This Old Dog’ seems an appropriate title for Mac DeMarco’s latest record, a thirteen-track long work that dives deep into family relationships and existential ageing. It’s a mature step forward and brings with it spacey, airy acoustics and more complex composition; where ‘Salad Days’ felt somewhat claustrophobic and sunken, this new album brings its topics further to the forefront and‘This Old Dog’ seems an appropriate title for Mac DeMarco’s latest record, a thirteen-track long work that dives deep into family relationships and existential ageing. It’s a mature step forward and brings with it spacey, airy acoustics and more complex composition; where ‘Salad Days’ felt somewhat claustrophobic and sunken, this new album brings its topics further to the forefront and offers more immediate emotional resonance.

    ‘My Old Man’ is a seductive opener, the simplicity of its laid-back strings an easy listen and an accessible entry point. From there, familiar themes of love and loss are explored in tracks such as ‘For The First Time’, ‘Still Beating’ and ‘One More Love Song’, while ‘Watching Him Fade Away’ is a poignant conclusion that discusses the damaged ties between DeMarco and his father. This is a collection of songs that offer lingering sadness and faint dread, the heavy-heartedness of the vocals and song writing both emotive and effective.

    While not everything is fully realised, and not every song hits the mark completely, this is an enjoyable and solid album that seems an improvement over recent DeMarco LPs. A definite recommend.
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  10. May 14, 2017
    7
    This is a pleasant and easygoing work that may not be as sonically brilliant as DeMarco may have aimed for, but has enough ambition and uniqueness within musical layers to be a worthwhile listen for most general audiences. My Score: 127/180 (Good) = 7.1/10
  11. May 5, 2017
    9
    Although less energetic that his last albums, "this old dog" has plenty of nostalgia attached to its songs and that's the main flow of the album, and it's not a down, instead, Demarco made a beautifully crafted album
  12. May 5, 2019
    9
    Out of Demarco's discography I keep coming back to this album. It has the most replay value out of all his albums and it has the best flow. There is a cohesive chill vibe on this album that is both joyful and sad at the same time. 9/10
  13. Apr 4, 2021
    10
    My favourite Mac Demarco album no doubt! I love almost every song! Beautiful compositions, and lyrically beautiful and poignant aswell!
Metascore
79

Generally favorable reviews - based on 24 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 24
  2. Negative: 0 out of 24
  1. 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.
  2. Magnet
    May 18, 2017
    70
    The more significant development is one of subtle, writerly progression. [No. 142, p.53]
  3. 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.