For Mac, his new record “This Old Dog” is realer and closer to home than his previous work, particularly Salad Days, which people pigeonholed as a ‘growing up record’. And it’s committing himself to that realness that made him squirm late at night among the synthesisers and doodled scraps of paper in the guest bedroom. These 13 songs (which make it the longest Mac album) were written on an old acoustic bought with a borrowed $10 bill off a guy in the sketchy Vancouver ‘hood Mac once called home. It’s the smoothest, cleanest Mac record yet. Most of what you hear are first takes, and his phrasing and personality lend it that familiar homey quality.