So the Pepperoni Playboy has done it again. Who is the Pepperoni Playboy, you ask? And what exactly has he done? He is none other than the slacker king of “jizz jazz” (self-proclaimed), Mac DeMarco, and he’s just put out his first release since 2014’s Salad Days. DeMarco brings back his inner goofball on his newest mini-LP Another One, and lays it on thick this time. The new album is polished and tight, and doesn’t stray too far from the jangly wryness of its predecessor.
Though it does stray a little. I remember first listening to Salad Days and thinking to myself how brilliant and engaging each of the album’s eleven tracks were, how each song told a different story and how I just wanted to lay in a dirty field somewhere and listen to the album on repeat. It’s an excellent album. Another One falls a bit short of that. The hooks are catchy, but you won’t find them in every song. DeMarco really channels his inner slacker on his newest effort, and pushes it to a fault.
I want to like this record. I really do. But when the title track sounds like it was written on that shitty $20 Casio that you buy at a garage sale and then gift to your nephew a few years later, it’s hard to really embrace it. Normally, I would love that—if anyone could pull it off, it’d be Mac. But it just sounds a bit too careless to be cool this time around. “A Heart Like Hers” follows suit, goofy to a fault, slow, uninspired. And 4 minutes long? In a word – boring. “Without Me,” another Casio lull, is boring too.
But I can’t trash talk it all. Opening track “The Way You’d Love Her” is Mac DeMarco at his absolute best—a sunny and sweet love number with a jangly lead that could put a smile on your face any time of the day. And if that guitar solo doesn’t make you pee your pants then there is something wrong with you. If it wasn’t Mac DeMarco induced, I’d probably consult a medical professional. Bumbly number “No Other Heart” harnesses some of Mac’s cleverer lyrical moments, while “Just To Put Me Down” is a fine display of some hook-centric instrumentation.
Though it’s pretty much a concept album (all of the songs are love songs), Another One sounds more like a collection of B-sides that just didn’t make the Salad Days cut, bits of both gold and coal. If there’s a bar to be raised, this time around you’ll find Mac DeMarco leaning casually underneath said bar smoking one of his good ol’ Viceroys.
P.S. If you feel compelled to chat it up with the Pepperoni Playboy himself, Mac has invited everyone over for coffee! Just listen for his home address which is oh-so-casually revealed in the final moments of the album.