Having been released only a few days ago on May 5th I have only had the chance to listen through fully and research up on this album today. Coming from the land of maple syrup, Mac is one of my favourite artists and already has an arsenal of brilliant indie/folk songs the likes of “Viceroy” and “Blue Boy” so I had high hopes going into the album.
“This Old Dog” signals a much more mature sound for Mac with improved lyricism and a focus on acoustic guitar and a much heavier use of synthesizers throughout the album. I must admit that after my first listen through I was a little underwhelmed with the album however it would be silly to base all of my opinions off of one listen so after a few more I had a greater appreciation for the record as a whole. Starting of the album with “My Old Man” with a heavier theme then we are used to with Mac with him discussing his realisation that he is becoming more like his absent father who struggled with being an alcoholic.
My three favourite tracks from the album were “Still beating” , “A Wolf Who Wears Sheeps Clothing” and “Watching Him Fade Away” with them showing the old Mac and the new Mac in different ways.
The track with the most evidence that has influence from previous albums. The song seems to be about him breaking up with someone but him saying that he still cares for her even if she can’t see it at the time. Very simple and laid back its a great track to listen to for most occasions.
A Wolf Who Wears Sheeps Clothes
This track is a great addition to the album giving it a more uplifting feel. This song is Mac trying to give advice to his listeners telling them that be wary of the outside world but also not to let it get to your head. He wants the person listening to be true to who they are and to keep the right people around them as people can be “a wolf in sheeps clothes”. I really like the use of the mouth organ in the track gives it a feel similar to that of Van Morrison or Bob Dylan.
Watching Him Fade Away
The final track of the album but I also think one of the most heavy hitting and mature. Having only recently reconnected with his absent father mentioned above he has been diagnosed with cancer. Watching him fade away is Mac’s battle between properly saying goodbye to his father or simply watching him “fade away” as a revenge of sorts for him not being there. A very sad song overall but perfect closure to an overall great album.
You can find the whole album on Spotify and other streaming sites now! I would highly recommend it