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Father John Misty - Pure Comedy (Review)


Father John Misty is on his third LP under this moniker, after he released numerous albums under his real name, Josh Tillman. Pure Comedy is the follow up to 2015's heart-throbbing epic I Love You, Honeybear. Tillman has now taken it upon himself to release an album racked with dark comedy, and so many different ideas and thoughts. For the most part he sticks to these ideas and once he's focused on a topic within a song he really hones in on it and sings about it in such spectacular detail. Much like in the song Total Entertainment Forever where he sings "bedding Taylor Swift, every night in the Oculus Rift" and the song continues to talk of the dark dystopia we've entered where every person must be entertained constantly, to the point where we are always inside our VR headsets just to avoid the hell outside of it. Eventually this builds to historians finding us in the distant future, all bone, with the headset still attached and a humongous smile on our face. It's Misty's ability to paint such a vivid picture with his words that is such a talent. It's something that is more of a standout feature on this album than the last two. As he has even stated that the first two were more personal albums and then on this one he just wanted to let loose and have some fun, this really shows as there are so many comedic moments on this record (as the name suggests).

For example, the song Ballad of the Dying Man talks of this man whom is so self-absorbed and obnoxious that just before he takes his final breathe, he checks his news feed to see what he's going to miss when he dies. There are people out there who aren't going to see the humour within the album, and that's a fair point because you have to really sit down and consume this album as a whole project. It's not necessarily something you can pop on whilst you do the dishes, and that could be taken as a negative but I refuse to accept that as a negative. What this album does have, however, is a 12 minute epic called Leaving LA. This song is about the terrible culture that surrounds Los Angeles' and the downfalls of the people who live there but it soon turns into a introspective review/critique of Father John Misty himself and his music. I'd even go as far as to call this finale self-deprecating. Nonetheless, the song is expertly recorded with just strings throughout, with no chorus and even he recognises the obscurity of that within the lyrics to the song.

The production on this album is much more minimalist in comparison to I Love You, Honeybear. But it's very much in-keeping with it as proven with the same producer coming onto this album. The album closes expertly in my opinion, with the song In Twenty Years or So. Wherein Tillman states that despite all of the problems he's encountered throughout this album and the dystopian futures he's predicted in 20 years no one will care and no one will be listening to this record anyway so what's the point? and I think that's more of an insight into where he believes his music stands more than anything else. Not to mention, this is an insight into the man himself, thinking that no matter what he worries/cares about in 20 years it won't matter. However, if he continues to produce music as well crafted as this, then the future is only going to get brighter for Father John Misty.

8.5/10 

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