Three years after his debut solo album, Fleet Foxes member Father John Misty has released another full-length album full of humor and emotion, or a strange combination of both. If you liked his first album, Fear Fun, then you will enjoy this album as it stays true to his heavy folk sound with strings and piano accents, but there is something refreshingly different about this album.
Throughout the whole album, there is something the screams satirical, seen especially in the song “Bored In the U.S.A.” which was released earlier in November. It might be because of the actual laugh tracks he uses in the background of the song, but it isn’t hard to miss the critiques he holds: “They gave me a useless education/ a subprime loan/ on a craftsman home.” It’s all rather downhearted when you listen to the lyrics, thinking of your own student debt… but he smothers it in humor and makes it into a catchy song, which is where his musical artistry comes out.
After Misty gets listeners comfortable with his first two songs, the adorably sappy “I Love You, Honeybear” and the other single released in 2014, “Chateau Lobby #4 (in C for Two Virgins)”, he smacks down “True Affection,” which sounds unlike any other song on the album, or even Fear Fun for that matter. It keeps his harmonizing folk vocals, but the song is almost a Passion Pit-esque track that has synthetic beats and much faster movement. He then reverts back to the folk rock sound on “The Night Josh Tillman Came To Our Apt.” where I can’t help but resonate with the woman he is picking fun at; “Like literally music is the air she breathes.”
After you hear “Bored In the U.S.A.” and are left with the mixed emotions of distress but also humor, however, once you get to “Holy S**t” and “I Went To the Store One Day” you get very somber sounds and lyrics from Misty, as if the tale that he was telling is coming to an end. With all the anger and slightly hostile lyrics, he ends the album on a new perspective. I Love You, Honey Bear is another great installment in Father John Misty’s discography and most importantly, it tells us a story.
Highlights: “Bored in the U.S.A.”, “I Love You, Honeybear”