By Ian Bremner
Never short of words, Josh Tillman’s 4th record as Father John Misty seems to have scaled back the run-on sentences, comprehensive metaphors and quick turns of phrases. Certainly all of those elements exist on his latest album, God’s Favorite Customer, but a more simplistic approach is apparent.
Since Father John Misty’s 2012 debut, Fear Fun, the personality of Josh Tillman has grown to a nearly cult-like level and for some folks, has drowned out the music as a standalone. While he is on stage singing about sex, the apocalypse and how much oil it takes to make a record, folks in the crowd sometimes can’t tell where the irony ends and sincerity begins. Over the years, as fans have begun to catch on, Tillman has blurred the lines even more..or so we think. It’s always hard to tell.
On God’s Favorite Customer, Tillman seems to concede this notion and hits the listener with 10 straightforward pop tunes. Of course, when it comes to Tillman’s wit and humor, the term “straightforward” is relative. When he sings, “last night I wrote a poem, man, I must have been in the poem zone,” or “I bet you know most of my friends, they’re some real exclusive dudes from just around the bend,” it would be easy to roll your eyes, but history tells you a devilish smirk is painted somewhere on his face, and it gives the lines a pass.
Clocking in at nearly half the length of 2017’s armageddon-opus, Pure Comedy, God’s Favorite Customer is certainly more palatable. It’s almost as if Tillman found the voice he was looking for, sharpened his audience and decided it was time to make a proper pop rock record. Historically known for lyrics dripping in irony, the biggest irony of all is that Tillman’s most accessible songs are perhaps his most heartfelt.
Listen to God’s Favorite Customer via spotify
Watch video for Mr. Tillman
Live performance of Please Don’t Die
Video for Please Don’t Die