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Father John Misty – I Love You, Honeybear // Community Review

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Father John MistyI Love You, Honeybear //

The enigmatic Father John Misty has returned with his second album (well, 12th album technically). Share your own quick review in the comments below to win free tickets to shows in the Bay Area this weekend (leave your email when you comment!).


BAM TEAM RATING:
4.5bams

Father John Misty’s 2015 AOTY contender explores a man who has found true love and a mind mid-metamorphosis, and it succeeds based on J. Tillman’s ability to teeter-totter his known sardonic wit with his emerging, earnest genuineness. Subversive storytelling is the glue in Tillman’s music (‘Save me white Jesus’), but the lyrics bite within a hodgepodge of Americana song structures, from orchestral (“Bored in the USA”) to western saloon (“I Love You, Honeybear”) to digitized R&B (“True Affection”) and scorching rock akin to Arcade Fire (“The Ideal Husband”). Elements of duality are ever present — there’s the traditional singer-songwriter format versus FJM’s lyrical shenanigans, the all important and impossible mix of parody and sincerity, and of course there’s the Josh Tillman versus Father John Misty mythological persona exercise. Not knowing if he’s projecting a complete picture of himself, or if he’s simply reflecting a mirror on contemporary society (while not letting his listeners in on the joke) might be what is most appealing about FJM — that he never fully reveals his true self. The strength of a classic record can be seen in how it closes, and the back third of I Love You, Honeybear is a sublime thing of beauty, with “Holy Shit” resonating strongest — “and no one ever really knows the real you, and life is brief / but what’s that gotta do with this black hole in me.” -Mike Frash
4.5 BAMS // Top Song: “Holy Shit”

In the last three years, Father John Misty has become one of the most intriguing characters amongst indie circles. And that’s what Joshua Tillman continues to play rather convincingly on his second FJM album I Love You, Honeybear. On the folk-driven, 11-track record, Tillman proves to be quite a self-loathing satirist, as evidenced by song titles like “The Night Josh Tillman Came to Our Apartment” and “Bored in the USA,” not to mention the tongue-in-cheek, yet cynical nature of his lyrics. But if 2012’s Fear Fun was Tillman’s chance to rediscover himself after releasing more than a handful of solo albums to little fanfare prior to conceiving the enigmatic FJM character he assumes these days, then Honeybear sees him sharpening his chops as a folksinger and naturally, a vivid storyteller. This isn’t an album that you can just put on once and call it a day; it’s one that takes time to become acquainted with but only gets better with each and every spin through. -Josh Herwitt
4.5 BAMS // Top Song: “When You’re Smiling and Astride Me”

Welcome to the big time Father John Misty, or should we call you Josh Tillman? Father John Misty’s new record I Love You, Honeybear drips with whit and sarcasm, a kind of self-loathing that could only come from a red wine-soaked narcissist from Los Angeles. As much as you might not like that description, his formula is genius, and it only builds upon what he did with Fear Fun, his previous record and debut of the Father John Misty persona. You’ll laugh and scoff at times, but you’ll be keenly curious and want more, like I did. Don’t miss this one. -Kevin Raos
4.5 BAMS // Top Song: “The Ideal Husband”

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