Album Review: Father John Misty – God’s Favorite Customer

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Artist: Father John Misty

Album: God’s Favorite Customer

Genre: Indie Folk/Indie Rock

Rating: 9/10

Those who find Joshua Tillman AKA Father John Misty pretentious definitely won’t be won over by his new album’s cover art or album title, and even the fact that there’s a track on this album titled “Mr. Tillman,” but those who admire his sharp lyrical content, passionate vocals, and attention to the importance of subtlety in music will swoon when hearing his new album. God’s Favorite Customer is the title, and unlike his masterpiece Pure Comedy, the majority of these songs find Tillman looking inward. Tillman revealed that this album was inspired by an event in which his life “blew up.” He will not elaborate on what that event entailed, but it’s clear that this was a time where he truly had to fight his personal demons. This isn’t a concept album, but there are recurring themes all throughout. Themes of depression, self-awareness, and the impact  the aforementioned subjects have on his marriage. Like a true Jack Torrance, his madness was the result of his living in a hotel for a long period of time, but instead of developing homicidal tendencies, Tillman’s depression was enhanced. This is without a doubt his most personal work, with his relationship with his wife tying the album together. In a way, these are realistic love songs, songs that display the unsureness and dependency of being in a relationship or marriage. Tillman paints the realities of being in love, both light and dark. From the separation anxiety on the track “Please Don’t Die,” which features a gut-wrenching chorus sung from the perspective of his wife pleading him not to take his own life, to the encouragement to accept the fact that no relationship is as perfect as the ones you see in the movies on the track “Disappointing Diamonds Are the Rarest of Them All,” this is an unsparing album that lays it all out on the table, and it’s perfectly crafted with detailed but also subtle instrumentation. Tillman has the incredible talent to put us in the headspace he was in whilst staying at that hotel, and he even pokes fun at the situation on the track “Mr. Tillman” where he sings from the perspective of a hotel concierge trying to professionally explain his frustration with Tillman’s behavior. It’s truly incredible how Tillman can walk us through such dark subject matter while having us maintain our comfort. You might even laugh at some of the album’s wit. Tillman is aware of his music’s self-indulgence, but instead of parading it around with a “look at me i’m a genius” attitude *cough* Kanye *cough* he uses it to therapize himself, and the result is some of the best songwriting in music today.

Written By: Steven Sandoval

Date: 06/03/18

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