May 28, 2018 Father John Misty – God’s Favorite Customer (Album Review)
Born Joshua Michael Tillman, Folk Rock Singer/Songwriter Father John Misty grew up in Rockville, Maryland, where he was raised in a strict Evangelical Christian family. By the age of 12, Misty found his calling and embraced the spirit of music as he learned to play guitar and drums. Now a seasoned recording artist, Misty has been releasing music since 2002 under a few different umbrellas.
Originally going by J. Tillman, Misty released 8 solo albums, from 2003’s Untitled No. 1 through 2010’s Singing Ax. As part of two other projects, between 2002-2003, Misty played drums on two releases for the Post-Rock band Saxon Shore, and in 2011 played drums on one LP with Folk Rock band Fleet Foxes. Uncovering his most fitting moniker, Father John Misty came to fruition with 2012’s Fear Fun, 2015’s I Love You, Honeybear, and began a rise to fame with, the acclaimed, 2017’s Pure Comedy. Well deserved, Misty has been nominated for a Grammy Award on 4 occasions, and in 2018, Pure Comedy won a Grammy for Best Recording Package, seeing Misty’s star shine brighter.
At the peak of his success, the start of 2018 was only the beginning of a big year for Misty, and now reaching even higher, he announces his fourth overall studio album, God’s Favorite Customer, which will be available on Friday, June 1, 2018, via the legendary Sub Pop Records. Produced by Misty himself, the writing process for God’s Favorite Customer took place in New York, primarily back in the summer of 2016 and continuing into the winter of 2017.
For those unfamiliar, the talented musician conceives Folk Rock music which can only be described as having an undisguised, enigmatic, and reserved silent power with an imploring tone. A listener will feel the candor Misty conveys through his music, yet, at the same time, there is something about his music which is indescribable; and that mystery is what makes the music great. An open book, Misty is very opinionated on the ridiculous and self-indulgent face of the entertainment world and how it simply rules the lives of the human populace; making us all numb. At heart, Misty seems to want everyone to feel comfortable owning their true emotions whether they be happy or sad.
Getting to know God’s Favorite Customer, the LP begins with “Hangout At The Gallows,” a wondering on how we all got into this mess in the first place. The eponymous “Mr. Tillman” claims what appears to be is really not at all as it seems. Next, “Just Dumb Enough To Try” wants to disconnect, perhaps from a relationship, but cannot keep away. Slightly uptempo and Roots-inspired, “Date Night” has an acoustic opening highly reminiscent of L7 and Nirvana before the pleading of “Please Don’t Die.”
Thereafter, God’s Favorite Customer begins to take on more meaning as “The Palace” offers bare piano with a story of someone who is in over their head. Praising the imperfect, “Disappointing Diamonds Are The Rarest Of Them All” agonizes over how something or someone can be expected to be beautiful yet it is not, and that is alright (“Does everybody have to be the greatest story ever told?”).
The title track, “God’s Favorite Customer”, prays for comfort while facing a dismal outlook. Moving along, “The Songwriter” sees things from the other person’s perspective (“What would it sound like if you were the songwriter?”). Simple and compelling in a world where society insists we should want more, “We’re Only People (And There’s Not Much Anyone Can Do About That)” is accepting of the fact we are only human. To his credit, the closer you listen to this track, the delivery in which Misty presents his message is dramatically reminiscent of the one and only John Lennon.
A sign of the times, upon offering God’s Favorite Customer, Father John Misty has furnished a sincere collection of songs to really make the listener reflect on their own lives, as well as the lives of others. Not afraid to speak his mind, Misty is one of only a handful of modern artists who state what they feel without sugarcoating the truth, and music needs this now more than ever. That said, God’s Favorite Customer is Misty’s ticket to attaining even bigger levels of success. There is no doubt, Misty has a shining future ahead of himself as he heads out on a huge U.S. and international tour which began in early May and rolls on through mid-November 2018. A compelling listen, CrypticRock gives God’s Favorite Customer 4.5 out of 5 stars.