Review | Mac DeMarco’s new album ‘One Wayne G’ teaches listeners patience

Mac DeMarco’s nearly nine-hour-long album teaches listeners patience with soft strings, groovy synths, and overall incredible compositions over 199 individual tracks.


© Thomas Hawthorne/USA Today Network

Mac DeMarco performs on the outdoor stage at at Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio, Calif. on Sat. April 20, 2019.

Zhenya Loughney, Arts Reporter

Early Friday morning, I was in class when my preferred streaming service sent me a notification that one of my favorite artists dropped a nine-hour-long album with serial numbers for titles.

The album is not cohesive. It makes no sense. I thought, “Is this a joke? This can’t actually exist, right?”

But this album does exist, and it is great.

Singer-songwriter Mac DeMarco released a 199-track album on April 21. With a run-time of 8 hours and 43 minutes, DeMarco provides hypnosis for an easy night’s rest for listeners through soft strings, groovy synths, and overall stunning compositions.

“One Wayne G” is an exploration of sound design. Each track is a new repetitive experiment reminiscent of YouTube’s constant “LoFi Girl” music stream. That’s what this album feels like without many unique melodies present.

That’s what makes the standout tracks so much more valuable. When I dug through 199 songs and found cinematic masterpieces, I felt like a “real” Mac DeMarco fan. I felt like I was so much cooler and more “indie kid” and that brought me so much joy. However, listening to the same guitar riff for hours at a time did not.

The first standout track is buried about two hours deep into the album. Titled “2019101 You Made The Bed,” DeMarco sings heavy lyrics like, “How you supposed to love her when you can’t look in the mirror?”

It is a shame this track only lasts for 2 minutes and 13 seconds. DeMarco lowers his usual baritone vocals to a very deep bass that hits you right in the gut and it’s magical.

A few minutes later, the track “20191215” changes the tone with guitars that make me want to dance samba. No lyrics here, but very unique and complicated acoustic guitar scales.

About 20 minutes later, “20191229” hits your ears. Unlike any other track preceding it, this one is a warm piano piece with an insanely good sound design. It could be the ocean, a crowded childhood home, or a weekend trip to the park; this track is a warm hug in the best way, and I can’t stop thinking about it.

The next standout is “20200816 She Want The Sandwich” not because it is good, but because the lyrics “She want the sandwich, baby, lettuce and tomato, baby, with mayo on a roll” caught me off guard after wordless sounds for the previous few hours. This track feels like a meme.

But that’s the fun of it. I say “fun” while I squint my eyes in pain, but that’s what this album teaches: patience. There’s so much for fans to enjoy and discover in this album because there is an over-abundance of content available, guaranteed to have at least one tune for everyone to enjoy.

After a few more hours, DeMarco explores more heavy lyrics like “So I better go and leave her alone, to keep my heart from the truth” in the track “20221102 The Truth”.

The album art is also very beautiful and complements the album well. It contains royal blue with an abstract line-art image of a face in gold, communicating the incohesive nature of the 9 hours it contains.