Monday, May 7, 2012 at 7:02 AM
DeMarco's "Baby's Wearing Blue Jeans" filters a lo-fi pop aesthetic through an eerie wash of glam.
What's not immediately obvious about "Baby's Wearing Blue Jeans," a standout track from Mac DeMarco's Rock and Roll Night Club, is just how firmly DeMarco has his tongue planted in his cheek. It's not that the 22-year-old's previous work as Makeout Videotape are lacking in goofiness (Exhibit A), so much as that Rock and Roll Night Club has such a strongly realized aesthetic — from the unsettling deadpan gaze on the cover to DeMarco's newfound creepy-baritone delivery — to the point where it's hard to hear the Canadian's smirk underneath all the "implications." Take away the absurd radio skits sprinkled throughout the album, and suddenly a line like "Straight-leg or a bootcut?" feels like it enhances the portrait of a fetishist rather than fishing for chuckles.
Still, the tune itself is irresistible. DeMarco already has a knack for crafting warm, infectious guitar hooks, and "Baby's Wearin' Blue Jeans" filters that lo-fi pop aesthetic through an eerie wash of glam. The backing track has all the carefree breeziness of a Puro Instinct or Real Estate tune, but DeMarco's cruise-control vocals channel Marc Bolan "Jeepster" vibes. It's those slowed-down vocal manipulations that beget all the ambiguity of intention; they lend a sense of "story" to a song that would have been lost had DeMarco stuck to a higher register. Suddenly, its otherwise innocent groove becomes alluringly sleazy. That is to say, by the time DeMarco sings, "Stick with me forever / Don't take off those jeans," it's hard not to humor him. [Copyright 2012 National Public Radio]
This article is filed in: Music Reviews
In "Libby," Fuller takes a brooding, beautiful look into a world of obsession, betrayal and regret.
Lisa Marie Presley: Rock's Princess Finds Her Voice
Presley has weathered personal storms with grace. On her new album, she hints that she's just begun.
Kathleen Ferrier: A Voice Not Forgotten
A new 14-CD set marks the centenary of the great English singer's birth.
Louis Armstrong: With Love And Grace, A Final 'Hello'
In one of his final performances, Armstrong used "Hello Dolly" to convey the joy of being alive.
John Talabot: From Sleek Grooves, A Fluid Sound
The tempo of "Destiny" would fall perfectly in sync with the bolt strut of a high-paid runway model.
News updates from WGBH