Thursday, 19 February 2015

Father John Misty- I Love You Honeybear

I Love You Honeybear is the second album from Father John Misty also known as former Fleet Foxes drummer Joshua Tillman. This album is simply superb where his previous record Fear Fun viewed Hollywood through a caustic prism, his new album is an unabashed declaration of the fear, uncertainty and unbridled joy of love. It's a suite of songs about his recent marriage and it's intense and bold and in many cases completely nuts! As usual the lyrical boundaries are pushed, less subversive than Fear Fun more literal and direct, with that same sense of warped observation that only he can deliver. Musically it's a gigantic leap Tillman covers minimalist electronica, cascading soul with soaring strings and laid back country meanderings.

The title track stands as a beacon of love amidst circling doom, Tillman has found his muse she shares his darkened vision, their love will survive all the catastrophe that surrounds them, Tillman urges her not to give in to despair. Chateau Lobby 4 ( in C for two virgins) has a wonderful Mexican feel as Tillman submerges into love with a sense of initial trepidation then complete willingness,

I haven't hated all the same things
As somebody else since I remember
What's going on for 
What are you doing with your whole life
How about forever
How about forever

True Affection embraces EDM and he does it so well, with ethereal backing vocals and Tillman's soaring falsetto. The Night Josh Tillman Came To Our Apartment harks back to the humour and directness of Fear Fun, Tillman is never afraid to say it how it is, often bluntly.

Of the few main things I hate about her, ones her petty, vogue ideas
Someone's been told too many times they are beyond their years
By every half wit of distinction she keeps around
And now every insufferable convo
Features her patiently explaining the cosmos
Of which she's in the middle.

When You're Smiling and Astride Me has some of the influence of producer Jonathan Wilson it has a Laurel Canyon feel, very honest and a little melancholy in it's musical presentation. It's an intense declaration of love, that feeling of insurmountable fear as you fall deeply into the ravine of love. Tillman confesses he has nothing to hide,

I've got nothing to hide from you
Kissing my brother in my dreams, 
And finding God knows what in my jeans
You see me as I am, it's true
Aimless, fake drifter, and the horny manchild momma's boy to boot
That's how you live free
Truly see and be seen

Strange Encounter reflects on Tillman's past before he met his wife Emma, living the rock star lifestyle in California. He encounters the emptiness of that life, the drugs the one night stands the aimlessness. Ideal Husband sees Tillman reflecting on why he won't make a good life partner, almost like he is making excuses trying to run from something that he wants. Bored In The USA rips open the facade that many live with, the idea that all of it is meaningless, what purpose are we here to fulfil,

How many people rise and think
Oh good the strangers body is still here
Our arrangement hasn't changed
Now I've got a lifetime to consider all the ways
I grow more disappointing to you as my beauty warps and fades
I suspect you feel the same
When I was young I dreamt of a passionate obligation to a roomate

The album closes with I Went To The Store One Day which is about how Joshua met his wife in Laurel Canyon at the local store. It's laid bare musically and lyrically, you can hear the profound change that has taken place,

For love to find us of all people
I never thought it would be so simple

This album is what you crave, it grabs you by the collar and takes you on a journey, you are seeing the artist for what he is, warts and all. Father John Misty is nothing but honest, he can be sarcastic and brutal, he can also be hopelessly lost and vulnerable. He can then capture that and turn it into four and a half minutes of exquisite beauty. Not many artists achieve that these days, this will be up there for album of the year.

No comments:

Post a Comment