I Love You, Honeybear
Father John Misty - 2015
This is one of the top ten albums of 2015. I don’t mean so far, I mean of the whole year. Yes, you’re correct that I haven’t heard the thousands of albums which will be released from now through December, but it doesn’t matter. It’s that good. I may eventually consider this a 5 star album, but I’m pretty strict that a five star album needs to be a classic. Only time will tell if I Love You Honeybear ends up in that club, but it’s damn close.
I wasn’t that familiar with J. Tillman’s output prior to this release. I had heard his last release under the Father John Misty moniker, but I don’t think I gave it a thorough chance back in 2012. I’ve spouted on and on before about how 2012 was my favorite year in music in quite some time, so I think maybe there were so many good albums that year that maybe there was little room for another new artist in my musical life.
My next exposure to FJM was his appearance in December 2013 on the WTF Podcast. I never miss an episode of WTF, and I was looking forward to this one in particular, since I am a fan of Fleet Foxes and Tillman had left the group the year or so before. He played “I’m Writing A Novel” at the end of the episode and it caught my ear. Partially because I enjoy his voice, but more so the lyrics, which were clever while still serving the song itself. (rather than clever for clever’s sake)
And that is where I Love You Honeybear shines. It’s all about the songs on this one. The production is good, the performances are good, but it all comes down to 11 great songs. Really it always comes down to the quality of the songs in any genre. Tillman has a clever, witty style, which partially harkens back to any number of songwriters, while also seeming fresh and original. The album is full of love songs, but not in a sappy way. He's sometimes sarcastic, funny, pretentious, and self-depricating. I was going to paste some lyric examples here, but I quickly realized that there are too many passages that I wanted to list, and to cut snippets from his complete songs does a disservice to the songs themselves.
This is just a great album. You should listen to it. That's all that really needs to be said.
Posted by Tambe