3 June 2018

Father John Misty - God's Favorite Customer

Father John Misty - Man, Myth, Enigma, a subject of ridicule and praise in equal measure.  Since the release of his last album, the brilliant Pure Comedy, I've been trying to figure out the man. The more I read about the former Fleet Fox, the less I seem to know.  The only thing that seems to make sense when you're talking about Father John Misty, is that fact & fiction are fluid.  The former Josh Tillman/Fleet Fox drummer is a man who courts controversies as a poet follows a muse for inspiration.  With his new album, it seems as if he's managed to piss off the Gods themselves.  God's Favorite Customer (American spelling, as he is from across the pond) AKA Mr Tillman's Wild Ride was released on 1st June 2018.  It's received a mixture of praise and the gnashing of teeth as well.  It was also accidentally leaked on April 18th by iTunes, leading him to release to this meme......

This shows that at the very least, he has a sense of humour (I have a feeling he was probably biblically pissed off at the same time, but still with a sense of perspective).  So, how has God's Favorite Customer turned out?

God's Favorite Customer is an album that has a timeless and vintage feeling.  Not to blow smoke up FJM's ass, but this album could have been released in any year since the late sixties to the present day.  And you know what, it would have fitted into that year perfectly.  Musically, it's steeped in old-school musicianship.  The craftsmanship behind the music and lyrics is on par with Elton John's 70's output, the music is dripping with sarcasm and self-deprecation humour.  The paranoia of "Mr Tilman" for example, this is great storytelling about experiences in a hotel whilst the party is running wild.  It's a satirical number, one that some people thought went too far, but it's just a brilliant song.  "The Palace" is another number that has an instant impact, but this one is so gentle.  Musically, the piano is played mournfully.  Lyrically though, well that is another story.  This song once again documents his time in a hotel, with hints towards paranoia and marital disputes.  Whilst the full backstory could be fiction, you cannot deny the talent of Father John Misty.

Each of these numbers on God's Favorite Customer is a gem, each of them would be a crown jewel in other albums.  Take "The Songwriter" for instance, a song that places Mr Tillman as the muse and his wife as the songwriter.  It shows that everything in a song should not always be taken at face value. FJM is letting people know that behind his works, as he shows that the grain of truth might be incredibly small.  However, my favourite (UK spelling, sorry FJM) song is "Just Dumb Enough to Try".  This song is an open admission of a lack of understanding, especially when it comes to love.  He might come across as a ladies man, a man with great social prowess, but he knows when he's also out of his depth.  The music matches those words like a heart beating in your chest, the vulnerability is interesting to see from a man who's known to be so confident.  Thus making it my favourite song of the album.

I think that I'm a little in love with God's Favorite Customer, mainly because it has a sense of irony that is missing in a lot of music.  Is it a bit too knowing?  Well, that depends on how much you like being in on the joke.  For me, I think it's a great follow up to Pure Comedy, which is still going up my all-time list almost weekly.  One day, people might want something different from FJM, maybe one day this will turn out to be his best record.  However, I think that God's Favorite Customer is going to be an album that will continue to divide people's opinion of Father John Misty.  And long may it continue...... I love the sarcasm that Father John Misty brings to the table, just as well his songs are brilliant as well.

8.5 out of ten - Oh, now you have my attention and maybe my time, money and heart.

Top track - Just Dumb Enough to Try

You can purchase God's Favorite Customer on Amazon here.

You can visit the Father John Misty website here.

You can follow the activities of Father John Misty on Facebook here.

You can stream God's Favorite Customer on Spotify here.

You can stream God's Favorite Customer on Deezer here.

You can stream God's Favorite Customer on Tidal here.

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