Welcome to Feature Fridays! Every week, the AU music library staff will be highlighting a different CD or artist from our collection.
This week, Student Assistant Jacob Tracey will review the album Pure Comedy by Father John Misty.
Father John Misty (A.K.A. Josh Tillman) is an American singer/songwriter who was
formerly a part of the indie acoustic group Fleet Foxes. Josh split from them after their 2nd album titled Helplessness Blues. In that year, Josh also released his debut album under the name Father John Misty titled Fear Fun. Since then, he has gained a huge following for his music due to his clever lyrics and beautiful instrumentals. Both of these aspects of Father John Misty really show on his 2017 release Pure Comedy. A mix of political questioning, saturated media, evil technology, and hidden love make up this album both in lyrical writing and through the orchestration.
The album opens with one of my favorite tracks ever by any artist, “Pure Comedy.” It is a six-minute composition where Josh describes the state of the world today under the Trump Administration as well as how we treat one another. He brings up many questions to the people of the world (and in some instances to “God”) such as “[why are] half of us periodically iron deficient?” and “where did they find these goons they elected to rule them?” It’s a very interesting song that makes you think about the world from many different perspectives. Josh also covers another perspective in his song “Two Widely Different Perspectives.” In this song he brings up two perspectives on different issues that, while they are different from each other, end in the same way. It’s beautiful irony that is twisted as well as perfect at the same time.
Two other songs that are great from this album are “When the God of Love Returns” and “Leaving LA.” “When the God of Love Returns” is a beautiful piano ballad where Josh wonders what would happen if the God of Love that created the world were to come back and see the state of it now. One of my favorite lines from this song is God talking to Jesus saying “…you didn’t leave a whole lot for me if this isn’t hell already, then tell me what the hell is.” It’s a powerful song that sticks with you for a while. The other song, “Leaving LA,” is a 12-minute opus where Josh picks up his guitar and in classic Father John Misty style, craps on LA and the phonies that live there. He complains about how people sell out there and nothing feels real in a materialistic world.
Father John Misty is a great songwriter and composer who looks at things for how they are. He’s never afraid to call anyone out (even himself) which makes listening to an album like Pure Comedy all that more amazing. Be sure to stop by the Music library and check out this wonderful CD, it’s beautiful from start to finish and fills your brain with some picturesque music for an hour and half.