Album Review: Mac DeMarco - Here Comes The Cowboy
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2017’s This Old Dog saw Canadian indie legend Mac DeMarco embark on an extensive touring schedule that often involved protracted jamming, nudity and crowd surfing, and sometimes all at once. Here Comes The Cowboy rides the wave of this success but unlike the proverbial tide, it proves not to be an endlessly renewable energy source.
Album Art 'Here Comes The Cowboy' (2019)If you thought This Old Dog was low key relative to the epic sounds to be found on singles such as ‘Chamber of Reflection’ from 2014’s Salad Days, then, my goodness, is this album understated. On This Old Dog, it felt like the lethargy was at least backed by excellent songwriting. Here, there is hardly a skeleton to support the bare-bones approach. The title track is a case in point. Its exact three-minute length does not constitute pop succinctness. It’s little more than a glorified loop. While the country-blues guitar riff is a sweet lick, without variation it becomes tiresome. The minimalist drums consisting of tame rim shots and the odd kick, and Mac’s deep, isolated vocals announcing the eponymous herdsman’s approach do something, but the cowboy, however, never really arrives. This is followed by ‘Nobody’, which is the best song on the album. Mac DeMarco is capable of stripping it back without losing depth and pathos. The track is subtle without being so minimal as to become boring. A mournful synth line lingers in the background, harkening back to a tone developed on 2017’s album. It lyrically explores pressures of fame and an impossible return to anonymity – “There’s no turning back / To nobody”.
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