Father John Misty


#1

Who’s heard this then? Feels like it’s going to be divisive. I’ll give it time this weekend, but initially I thought it was musically a bit bland, regardless of the lyrical content.

Mainly posting this after 7.6 Pitchfork review. I enjoy it when a publication gives lots of space to an artist pre-release…then gives them a lukewarm review (like The Antlers on here).


#2

Is 7.6 lukewarm? I’d call that pretty decent.


#3

Not by their standards, I’d say, they hand out higher scores fairly regularly. It’s just a bit “damning with faint praise” after all their coverage of him, usually scores like that pass by fairly unnoticed.


#4

Best New Reply


#5

Joking aside, I think the Best New Music thing skews their scores really…makes it seem like they think only a handful of albums are really worth your time.


#6

my cd turned up yesterday but i’m only just listening now.

looking forward to it. i love his voice.


#7

I don’t know anyone who places any importance on Pitchfork scores or reviews anymore. Even pitchfork seem to have given up bothering sometimes.

Maybe a couple of years ago when we were deciding if it was worth buying/downloading/acquiring illegally. Now? Just chuck it on spotify and see if you like it.

The album’s very good, I think.


#8

I think it still holds relevance in that group who like to purchase “indie” music but don’t like it enough to post on music forums…


#9

Just finished my first listen, and I really, really liked it. Will have to see how it holds up to repeat plays but I thought it was rich, golden, and delightful. Exactly what I’d hoped for really.


#10

It’s a great album that gets better the more you listen to it.


#11

I’ve listened to this 8 or 9 times through now. The two main feelings I take from it are almost diametrically opposed. Namely, that the album has a singular, almost gravitational pull that makes me keep returning to it. BUT: it is simply too long, too one-note, too musically unadventurous. It is also for great swathes of run time, unexpectedly, quite humourless.

From reading interviews surrounding the release, it seems as though those things are intentional. He’s said, intriguingly, that entertainment is about forgetting and art is about remembering. In that illustration, entertainment is easy and art is difficult. I think he’s followed that thought through to its logical conclusion and gone to great lengths to make Pure Comedy a ‘difficult’ listen. When you read interviews where he noticeably bristles at the perception of himself as not taking his music seriously, that seems even more likely.

Feels like he’s being Serious with a capital S.

That’s not to say it isn’t enjoyable. But the pace and low-key nature of this long (long!) album can only be by design, it can feel like a war of attrition, and seems to resist the idea of just throwing it on for a listen. You’d better sit down and pay attention to this thing or it will infuriate you. When you think about why that might be - a comment on patience and disposability (particularly given the album’s subject matter) - it’s totally intriguing. I’ve not been drinking recently, and have found something soothing, meditative and calming in what could otherwise seem quite a menacing release.

Unfortunately, in practice, he feels musically and thematically over-stretched, and the album feels front-loaded and samey.

It feels that way even when you start stripping away the deadweight (Leaving Los Angeles is a fine novelty release but neither fits its place mid-way through the album or the tone of the music it’s surrounded by. It’s too self referential and smirky in an album that otherwise leaves that Father John Misty for twitter).

It’s my opinion that this album actually still makes its points, about society and patience, with an abbreviated tracklist. I, for example, cut it down to 9 tracks which still comes in at a weighty 48 minutes.

Seems like on tour, he’s surrounding these songs with dialogue, dancers, performance art, etc. Perhaps in that venue, some of the more meandering stuff makes sense?

In conclusion, cut down to size, I think this is a fascinating release and - for me - preferable to anything else he’s done. But taken as a whole, it’s simply too demanding, too overwhelming, too ‘difficult’ a listen for me.

I think it’s definitely art, and as you can see, has made me more thoughtful than anything else released this year.


#12

Was all for this…until you said “it’s definitely art”.


#13

Ha - my post was too long, too difficult etc. Maybe if someone stripped away the deadweight it could be great?


#14

The problem was the use of the word ‘samey’ mid-way through (which on it’s own would have been a fine novelty word but neither fit its place half way down your summary or the overall tone of your review).


#15

Fail again, fail better…

But seriously - he put a three minute version of Leaving Los Angeles on his sound cloud that would have been great on the album.

I do think, Stewart Lee style, he’s trying to ‘refine’ his audience rather than grow it. Something I’m totally fascinated by - and I’ll happily play with a track list if that’s my way to understanding his work.

Abbreviated, it’s my AOTY so far.


#16

‘In Twenty Years or So’ is such a perfect closer. There are some great lyrics on this album.

'Oh, I read somewhere
That in twenty years
More or less
This human experiment will reach its violent end
But I look at you
As our second drinks arrive
The piano player’s playing "This Must Be the Place"
And it’s a miracle to be alive

There’s nothing to fear’


#17

I hoped nobody would compare him to Stewart lee. But here we are. Jesus Christ.


#18

I listened to FJM for the first time yesterday: I Love You Honeybear.

He sounds like John Grant, but with everything that makes John Grant so compelling removed by force.

I don’t get all the furore/controversy/indignation/admiration about his “public persona”. It’s all just… talking? Why hide it behind a “character”? Why does it matter? What’s it got to do with anything and why do people care?


#19

He is levels above John Grant, imo.


#20

I think it’s more instructive than David Foster Wallace, which is the comp usually thrown around - and I was talking about Lee’s stated mission of having less fans but more fervent ones, rather than comparing their work.