MAGNET’s #3 Album Of 2015: Father John Misty’s “I Love You, Honeybear”

FatherJohnMisty

On one hand, J. Tillman’s second album as Father John Misty is junk food for the soul—as irresistibly self-destructive as a Wendy’s Baconator Double consumed atop the shaved pubis of your best friend’s drunk fiancée at 2 a.m. On the other, this sort of relentlessly stylized introspection hasn’t sounded so effortless since Beck’s Morning Phase. I Love You, Honeybear is a warts-and-all relationship album propelled by a near-theatrical baroque folk-pop expansiveness, Misty’s wicked sense of humor and some pretty outrageous reflections on the absurdity of 21st century mating rituals. “I just love the kind of woman who can walk over a man, I mean like a goddamn marching band,” he coos with bemused detachment on “The Night Josh Tillman Came To Our Apartment.” For Elton Johnish piano ballad “Bored In The USA,” Misty unleashes an absurd litany of self-pity, punctuated by priceless snippets like “They … keep my prescriptions filled, and now I can’t get off, but I can kind of deal.” And just as things get a wee bit too overwrought, Misty inserts a laugh track, as if to say, “Grow the fuck up, dude.” Indeed, on Honeybear, Misty’s wounded psyche is on display solely for our entertainment, and the ultimate punchline is the human condition. You’d cry if you weren’t laughing so hard. —Hobart Rowland

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