Following the 2016 presidential election, Josh Tillman found himself in a downward spiral. His self-conflated character created a small controversy by refusing to play at a festival in Camden, New Jersey and instead lecture the audience about the evils of entertainment. This culminated in the album released just last year, Pure Comedy, which received a lot of praise for its cleverness and dark humor.
However, most reviews agreed Tillman failed to create a broader, concrete picture.
Now, with the release of his new album God’s Favorite Customer, Tillman may have articulated what he’s been trying to tell us all along.
It’s an album full of all the whimsical, ridiculous stories and images that have defined Father John Misty’s career so far, but also centers itself onto a central theme. This fictional persona is parallel to the actual man in terms of opinions and troubles, but commands much more arrogance and confidence than Tillman himself. So, Tillman tries to separate the man from the myth.
Its quite a feat to attempt on your fourth full length album, and even harder to do when such a large and loyal fan base assumes the two to be one and the same. He even recognizes this by telling us that “disappointing diamonds are the rarest of them all.” His fans set up his music to always be profound, but Tillman finally admits its okay to write for the sake of self-expression or, dare I say, entertaining purposes.
The release of this album also means big news for Chicago.
Father John Misty is planned to headline in one of the city’s biggest music festivals, Riot Fest, so fans can anticipate for the hits off this new album to be planned here this September. So if this review accurately predicts how critics will receive his newest work, an even bigger crowd may be at the event. This is probable because Riot Fest doesn’t always have the pleasure of headlining such a big name that has put out such recent music.
While God’s Favorite Customer still relies on a lot of the old shticks that Tillman used in the past – like boldfaced and borderline pretentious comments about politics and religion – it surpasses past albums in nearly every other way. It very well may be Father John Misty’s best album to date.