CD Review – 2

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The succinctly titled 2, Mac DeMarco’s second release of 2012, is a nuanced and enigmatic genre exercise masquerading as an unassuming thirty-two minutes of jangle-pop.

On 2, DeMarco’s voice is not tampered with as it was on Rock and Roll Night Club, and we have to impose the distinction between these different versions of himself that appear on the record ourselves. What are we to make, then, of the ’70s funk-lite sleaze found on the verses of “Annie” coexisting with the unabashed, melodic crooner of “Dreamin’ ” and “My Kind of Woman”? On “Ode to Viceroy” is Mac really just writing a(n admittedly beautiful) paean to his favourite budget cigarettes?

Most perplexingly, how do we parse “Still Together,” the lone (non-instrumental) acoustic moment on the record? Is it, as it presents, Mac letting his guard down, strumming along late at night in his apartment, tossing off devotional lines like “And where I go, she’s by side/Half of my life/Together” in his slick baritone? Or, is this just another genre exercise? Or, is it both?

The fun and genius of 2, however, lies in the duality that I sketched above. When you want, you can ponder its intentions. When you don’t, Mac possesses enough effortless pop chops that you can just bliss-out to a guy singing a love song about his cigarettes.

Joel Blechinger
Contributor

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