Father John Misty – Pure Comedy
Indie Rock | Folk
After winning two Belwood Awards for his album I Love You, Honeybear, and with his antics both on and off stage moving at times from quirky to downright irritating, there was a lot of expectation weighed upon Father John Misty’s new record Pure Comedy. In many ways this is the album that the world needs right now; a scathing critique of modern society tinged with Tillman’s trademark off-the-wall wit. Whether aimed at consumerist culture (‘Total Entertainment Forever’), internet trolls (‘Ballad of the Dying Man’), the dichotomy of politics (‘Two Wildly Different Perspectives’), religion (‘When the God of Love Returns There’ll Be Hell to Pay’) or even himself (‘Leaving LA’), his commentary never fails to hit the mark. He captures this wretched world perfectly, and with such a swirling mess of droll humour and hard truths it’s difficult to know whether to laugh or cry.
Musically this latest record falls well short of the mark when compared to Honeybear. Whereas his previous album dabbled with a range of different styles, Comedy sticks to safe waters. Other than a dash of brass on ‘Total Entertainment Forever’ and a hint of gospel on ‘Ballad of a Dying Man’, the album is almost exclusively acoustic folk and piano ballads. On its own that isn’t too much of a problem, but combined with the fact that this album drags on far too long and has too many filler tracks it makes for a long and tiring listen. It’s clear Father John Misty has doubled down on the lyrical content rather than the music, and in this respect he is unparalleled, unlike anyone else you’ve ever heard. This is an album that everyone needs to hear, but it’s flaws will hold it back from becoming a classic.