Mac Demarco’s new album 2 literally ends with him waking someone up from a deep slumber that they’re implied to have fallen into during his performance. It may be his best friend, girlfriend, or child, but it could also be me. I was quite taken aback at this perhaps tongue-in-cheek admission about the album: it’s just boring.
Opener “Cooking Up Something Good” has a nice bounce to it, allowing the songwriting – the finest aspect of this release – to really shine. Demarco is a gifted observer of unfussy familial relationships and the mundane difficulties of youth, but far too often the songs are so languid I can’t even bring myself to pay attention to what he’s saying. Take “Dreaming”, where in the first verse he sets up a compelling look into the mind of someone obsessed with a girl he doesn’t really know. But then the overlong, repetitive Ambien of a chorus drops in and the song basically loses me for good. Things get even more adrenally dire after the midpoint, and highlight of the album “Ode To Viceroy”, passes. In it, a nervous gentleman has a increasingly desperate and one-sided conversation with the cigarettes he uses to keep himself calm. That, to me, is a really great song idea.
I literally remember none of the songs that come after it. Maybe “Robson Girl”, but only because my mother grew up in Vancouver. Closer “Still Together” in particular is a stunning bit of magic where Demarco makes 3 minutes pass in either a blink or a temporal taffy stretched to infinity depending on how engaged you are. Good if you’re trying to take a nap though.