Mac DeMarco— the king of slack, the goofball god, the undoubted king of indie-rock— has semi-recently become one of the most popular musicians in North America. His carefree demeanor in interviews and ridiculous music videos pair nicely with his extremely catchy songs, but the question remains: which of his four albums is the most overrated?
Salad Days is Mac’s third album under Captured Tracks. It blends his old sound with quite a few synths. Scratch that. It replaces his signature guitar with 80s synths on more than a couple tracks. “Passing Out Pieces” has these bouncy synths that, while catchy, don’t quite hit the spot for his really lo-fi, drugged- out sound. “Chamber Of Reflection” is effectively Mac DeMarco singing over a vintage Japanese synth sample. The rest of the songs that do feature guitar tend to stagnate on the innovation of 2 rather than make something new. It’s not a bad album by any means, but it doesn’t quite represent Mac and his roots as a musician well enough to be the breakout album that it was treated as.
Rock and Roll Night Club
Mac’s solo debut is one trip of an album. Besides having the vocals pitched down on most songs, there are some incredibly over-the-top interlude tracks that make you want to take a really long, cold shower. “Baby’s Wearing Blue Jeans” is funny, catchy, and totally unique. The guitar line barely resembles an actual rock song, but it’s a crazy look in to Mac’s head as he tried to make a joke album and actually made a great record with a cult following. If you sift through the crazy, pitched-down tracks, there are a couple real hidden gems from DeMarco’s discography. “She’s Really All I Need” is one of Mac’s loveliest songs, featuring lyrics about a girl who means quite a bit to him. It’s funny, self-deprecating, and genuine. “Only You” is another hidden cut from this album that deserves a little more attention. The song is incredibly unique and really portrays the fact that Mac didn’t have a formula for songwriting quite yet.
While Salad Days continues to be Mac’s most critically acclaimed record, I implore you to check out Rock and Roll Night Club, if only to see just how different he was in the beginning.
Mac DeMarco’s newest record, This Old Dog, will be released through Captured Tracks on May 5th.