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Father John Misty - Gods Favorite Customer - CD -

Price per Unit (stuk): €19.95

The magnificent ego of Father John Misty makes his music seem really important. The music is not really that important, of course, but when you hear that smooth and gentle soft-rock with his olden croon centered so perfectly on every pitch, it seems like it is, in the way that narcissists or the canon of classic rock seem important. This outsized persona bursting forth from singer-songwriter Josh Tillman is full of self-mythology descended straight from Bob Dylan, dripping with a painted-on significance: His greatest passion is his thoughts. The autofiction of his songwriting imparts its own patina of truth, something that seems unassailable if you subscribe to the man, the voice, the facial hair. He strolls through his own songs like a melancholy king finding every opportunity to catch his reflection.

His ego may keep some folks at arm’s length, but it is also precisely what makes his music fascinating. If the maxim is “write what you know,” then it is certain that Tillman knows himself a little too well. All this helps build a kind of lore around him, the Misty mythos: He is the former drummer for the sylvan Fleet Foxes, the rogue at house parties, the online satirist, the ham at live shows, the scamp who writes generic pop songs as a lark or as a hired gun, the ingester of mushrooms, the beefer with Ryan Adams, and of course the husband to his wife, Emma, to whom his cosmic romance was detailed with great overture on his 2015 album I Love You, Honeybear. This is only part of the vast Father John Misty universe Tillman has created, with its many footnotes and appendices. His fourth album, God’s Favorite Customer, is Tillman trying to destroy it all.

The record is comparatively small and vulnerable, as hook-filled as it is heartrending, the kind of back-to-basics turn that almost seems a bit too calculated after the density of last year’s Pure Comedy. Written over a period of two emotionally fraught months holed up in a New York hotel room, Tillman sounds more wise than clever. Instead of the romantic bombast of I Love You, Honeybear, now it’s love songs without ornaments, written from the perspective of someone looking up at the world, not down on it. Finally, the real lessons of his psychedelic trips of the past are taking hold: Father John Misty wants to destroy his ego, get out of his head, and be here for someone else.

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