Following up his catastrophically-depressing but amazing album ‘I Love You, Honeybear’, Josh Tillman, known amongst the industry as Father John Misty, released his latest LP, ‘Pure Comedy’ last Friday (7/4). Although Misty released singles to promote the album, I was too hyped for the album and refused to listen to any singles to experience the album as a whole. In short, before we get to the review, this album is solidly one of the best to come out this year. It’s forceful, loud, assertive, majestically dark, enlightening, scary, but most of all, in pure Misty style; comical.
Throughout the album, Misty focuses on a variety of themes that are more relevant than they have ever been before. He discusses the uprise of dependency on technology, the distastefulness of fame, sexuality, drug addiction and love. Yes, there is a lot going on this album from Misty’s vocal performance to the very tone and pitch of instruments and organisation of the instrumentals.
While on his previous album there were obvious tracks that stood out by themselves; his latest doesn’t. However, this is not a bad thing. The way the tracks all roll on to the next one is progression for Misty as a songwriter and producer. Contradicting my own statement, there is, obviously, records on the album that do standout more than the others (not just because of the songs track length : 6 of 13 tracks are over 5 minutes). The first track that stood out to me was “Total Entertainment Forever”. Following in Kanye West’s direction of “bedding Taylor Swift”, Misty provides an acoustic guitar and piano-led psychedelic Pop tune of how everyone today is craving the attention of being entertained. While the instrumental is gloriously uplifting, as well as Misty’s pain-stricken vocals; his lyrics are direct and unraveling of modernisation in our reliance in technology. “Things It Would Be Helpful to Know Before the Revolution” and “Ballad of the Dying Man” are two further tracks that also showcase the artistry supremacy that is Misty. Over magnificent keys, luscious strings and dull drums, Misty really does standout amongst his successors in the mainstream for his incorporation of real-life instruments and lyrics that don’t sound like they could’ve easily been written for another typical ‘Radio Song’ (SHOUTOUT DANNY BROWN).
While the majority of tracks are slow in pace, the gradual build up of instruments, Misty’s vocal performance and very last second of a track is what really makes this album feel just that bit more authentic than anything I’ve heard recently. Every song portrays real emotions and issues that are now a common conversation between parents as well as teens. The album is, impressively, of a greater musical and lyrical quality than his previous album and in no way, does any song disappoint. If anything, this album is Grammy 2018 worthy.