Brooklyn-based indie artist Mac DeMarco has a knack for crafting effortless-sounding songs. His debut album, 2 (2012), and follow-up Salad Days (2014) played heavily on a hazy aesthetic that was the definition of lazy Sunday-morning music. On Another One—a ‘mini LP’—DeMarco is unable to progress from his initial sound sound; now, however, the songs are lyrically weighed down by an encompassing sense of emotional loss or love-torn lyricism.
While the title track is meant to focus on bad relationships and affairs, “Another One” might as well just reflect DeMarco’s sentiments towards the album as a whole: Just another one to release, a selection of songs that failed to make it onto the aforementioned mostly-brilliant, Salad Days.
There is no denying that Demarco is a good songwriter—his melodies are poignant and undeniably unique to his genre—yet he fails to outdo his main competitor: Himself. Although meticulously crafted, the songs on Another One are so similar in production that they all end up falling into a hazy and rather melancholic set.
It’s a shame, because the LP does feature some superb tracks. On its own, “No Other Heart” is heavily reminiscent of ‘70s drive time alt-rock; but when it follows the songs preceding it, it drowns in a sea of similarity. In addition, “Just To Put Me Down,” “A Heart Likes Ours,” and “I’ve Been Waiting for Her,” should be three independently strong songs, but all end up fading into a background of wistful and mournful atmospherics that rely on guitars, distorted vocals, and an underlying base piano tune.
There’s an easy response to DeMarco’s lyrical plea of, “Feeling so confused / Don’t know what to do.” Shake things up in the production department, and don’t let the ‘70s-infused rocker shtick be a musical weight. Unfortunately for DeMarco, this advice comes too late, and Another One produces only one clear takeaway: It’s just more of the same, but less.