Father John Misty: God’s Favorite Customer review – spiritual search

Fri, May 25, 2018, 05:00

   
 

Album:
God’s Favorite Customer

Artist:
Father John Misty

Label:
Sub Pop/Bella Union

Genre:
Alternative

Don’t expect Father John Misty to change the indie rock landscape. Music this good often inspires a string of imitators but who else can write like Josh Tillman?

His words are pointedly nihilistic, hilariously sardonic. Tillman has the power to encapsulate the absurdity of this thing called life while simultaneously treating every speck of emotion that passes through his chest as though it deserves its own Iliad.

Even the pomposity of the title of his new album made me laugh: God’s Favorite Customer. It’s like this man can’t help himself.

His fourth album under the Misty guise actually shows Tillman’s more vulnerable side. The title track finds him reaching out for spiritual guidance. Solo piano piece The Palace captures the isolated feeling of staying alone in a hotel room.

There’s a touch of Neil Young and John Lennon’s Plastic Ono Band era to the record’s unprocessed arrangements. Take Date Night, which rollicks along like a raw jam session.

So while there’s none of the sumptuous strings of the passionate I Love You, Honeybear and the writing isn’t as verbose as last year’s cerebral odyssey Pure Comedy, Tillman has done something just as impressive: he’s quickly served up another great LP while making the whole process sound effortless.