Words by Dennis Ruhlin
The sophomore album entitled I Love You, Honeybear from Father John Misty is an absolutely beautiful, often times funny, and highly enjoyable album sure to delight a wide variety of folks. Misty, also known by his real name Joshua Tillman, probably best known as the drummer from Fleet Foxes, created a soulful and sometimes sarcastic record that really showcases his potential. His vocals are impeccable, the instrumentals are flawless, the lyrics are perfect, and it’s honestly considerably better than I was expecting.
The astonishing opening track ‘I Love You, Honeybear’ is a romantic comedy, both sincere and loving, with a touch of ridiculousness. The elements of love and comedy are mirrored across the entire eleven-track album, as Tillman gives us a glimpse into his heart and soul, which is a twisted, harshly realistic, yet tender and loving place.
Largely, the whole thing is fantastic. I’m talking borderline flawless fantastic. I’d be hard pressed to say which song is the weakest link since every track is just as good as the one before. I hate to say it puts his earlier work to shame, but this is really something else.
My first listen brought forth influences ranging from mariachi-esque trumpets to Randy Newman instrumentals to Animal Collective synths to stringy surf guitar riffs to Sigur Rós. I hate to say there’s something for everyone, but in this album there truthfully is.
The entire album highlights life perfectly. There’s love, there’s harsh sarcasm, there’s hurt, there’s longing. Tillman touches on subjects such as useless college educations, our shit economy, one-sided infatuation, regretful decisions, and deep, compassionate love. He’s crafted an album that sounds timeless, but touches on the fucked up cynical and wonderful thing we call modern life. Whether you’re getting through a break up, pondering existence, pissed off, or counting down the hours until you tie the knot, the album is oddly appropriate for everyone.
I know February isn’t over but this is by and large my favorite album in a good while. I’ve lost count of how many people I’ve talked to it about and how many times I’ve listened to it. Words can’t do justice to this album. Just go give it a spin and decide for yourself.
‘I Love You, Honeybear’
© January 1st, 2015
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