FJM follows up on Pure Comedy with one of his best albums yet
After Father John Misty’s wondrous release of Pure Comedy last year I became a devoted fan of the solo act. His cynical twist on the World being backed by some glamorous instrumentals the album had everything, since then he has fast become one of the most talked about people in music.
Just a little over a year later and Josh Tillman has already released a follow up album to that masterpiece, and with the critical acclaim he got for Pure Comedy the expectations were pretty high for this one. On the road to releasing the album he dropped 3 very different track, the slow and calculated ‘Just Dumb Enough to Try’, the anecdotal, hook gifted ‘Mr.Tillman’ and the piano driven ‘Disappointed Diamonds are the Rarest of Them All’. One thing was for certain after these releases – it was going to be different.
God’s Favourite Customer is exactly that, with it clocking in under 40 minutes, it’s a lot less of a task to get through as each tack just breezes by giving the album a great flow.
Compared to Pure Comedy this album is more stripped down with the guitar and piano having a much bigger part to play throughout. This can be heard straight from the off with ‘Hangout at the Gallows’. With it’s Beatles-Vibe it starts the album off strong, and with a lyric like “I’m treading water as I’m bleeding to Death’ it’s a joy to sing along to.
The album plays through with ‘Mr.Tillman’ and ‘Date Night’ which continues its overall consistent quality. ‘Please Don’t Die’ is a typical FJM track with it’s beautiful morbidity he preys for his love not to die as she is all he has, which is a unique way of looking at love.
Throughout it Tillman is draws on himself as inspiration for the songs, making it one of his most introspective album so far with tracks like ‘The Songwriter’ and ‘The Palace’ both providing a deeper look into what it’s like being Father John Misty.
‘Disappointed Diamonds are the Rarest of Them All’ is really a shining light on the album, it’s bright vocals in the chorus are pleasure to listen to, leaving you desiring more. The slow pondering in ‘God’s Favourite Customer’ is the longest track on the album and it feels it after breezing through the most part of it, however it sits well on the album regardless of it not being a highlight of the tracklist.
The vocal performance on the album is probably one of the best he’s recorded, with him hitting some great notes taking the track to another level. Also the line “I’m In Over My Head’ that’s delivered on ‘The Palace’ is hauntingly alluring.
This is a step away from what Tillman has done so far with this being his darkest piece of work yet, however the quality of his material hasn’t suffered as his wit and way round a tune is still as sharp as ever. Personally I don’t see it as being as influential as Pure Comedy as that left a real mark, however it’s definitely a close second. With another great release this only strengthens FJM’s position as a songwriter in everyone’s mind, even though he can be dreary, he does it with a crooning swagger and this album is a perfect representation of this.
Words by Alex Wise @AJWise