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Album Review: Father John Misty’s ‘Pure Comedy’

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Smith Galtney

Two stars

Father John Misty Pure Comedy

Father John Misty gives great interviews and looks kinda sexy in a moustache. Father John Misty is either a genuine douchebag, or Josh Tillman is just playing a douchebag named Father John Misty, and no matter what the reality, I’m intrigued. I just wish Father John Misty’s albums were half as interesting as himself.

Pure Comedy, the third FJM opus, sure is an admirable piece of work. Clocking in at 75 minutes, it begins with the lines “the comedy of man starts like this/our brains are too big for our mother’s hips” and proceeds to philosophically roast life on “this godless rock that refuses to die.” Technology is our doom (“Total Entertainment Forever”), climate-induced apocalypse our only hope (“Things That Would Have Been Helpful to Know Before the Revolution”), and do we really need another white guy “who takes himself so goddamn seriously”? So sings Misty on “Leaving LA,” a “ten-verse chorusless diatribe” (his words, not mine) that paints a hazy image of fake Angelenos and one childhood trauma triggered by Fleetwood Mac. It goes on for 13 minutes.

It’s impressive how an album so full of big ideas, mounted on an orchestral scale by such an outsized personality, can be still be so boring. Read the Pitchfork interview instead.

Tags: Music, Album
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