Father John Misty album not meant for church

Courtesy of Father John Misty website

While scanning through iTunes’ new releases, I noticed the new Father John Misty album, “I Love You, Honeybear,” then quickly scrolled past it. Seeing “Father” made me assume that he was a religious artist. No offense, but I was not looking for that. Later that week, one of his songs came up in my recommendations, so I decided to give it a chance. After checking out the track list for the album, I understood how wrong my first judgment was.

The song titles alone are much too risqué to come from a religious musician. They would also probably scare off a lot of potential listeners. However, the titles are what intrigued me. I figured that a guy using the name Father John Misty would have to be outrageously satirical – and I was right. Two of my favorite titles are “I Went to the Store One Day” and “The Night Josh Tillman Came to Our Apt.” They give a glimpse of Father John Misty’s odd, dry humor.

Aside from the artist name and the song titles, the lyrics are unique. The listener has to use discretion because Father John Misty is incredibly vulgar. Although the lyrics are quite lewd, they are witty and truly make the listener think.

They aren’t like many songs that repeat familiar ideas or phrases. These lyrics are telling stories. He tells stories of corruption in love, friendship and all other aspects of life. The raw understanding of these stories makes their vulgarity reasonable. Real life is dirty, but at least Father John Misty is able to present a humorous approach. I actually found myself laughing but sadly agreeing with most of what he sang.

The album’s genre is tough to determine. After learning that Father John Misty had been in folk bands, like Fleet Foxes, that is what I expected here. He chose a couple different routes though. Some of the songs, like “Chateau Lobby #4 (in C for Two Virgins),” showcase a classic rock sound. (Think less Led Zeppelin and more Creedence Clearwater Revival.) It is peaceful and emotional.

Then other songs, like “True Affection,” pull techno into the album. Some songs do incorporate the anticipated folk. It is an eclectic group of tracks, but it makes sense. Father John Misty just seems to do what he feels is right.

Overall, “I Love You Honeybear” is excellent. It seems rare to find an artist as different (in a good way) as Father John Misty. His interpretations of life are dark, but accurate. The way he showcases these interpretations in each song keeps them interesting.

Even if his lyrics were not entertaining, the songs would still be nice to listen to. Both his voice and the melodies are charming. I would recommend this album to everyone except the easily offended. This music is an acquired taste, but anyone with an obscure sense of humor will definitely be pleased with it.

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