Cynicism of society pervades Father John Misty’s ‘Pure Comedy’

Cutting deep into both himself and society, Josh Tillman, also known as Father John Misty weaves strong instrumentals and vocals with commentary and frightening predictions for the future in his new release “Pure Comedy.”

While the music is forceful and emotional, the lyrics heavily rely on preachy rhetoric against religions and industries. This dependence ultimately detracts from the musical content of the album. At many points, the wording is so pointed that staying immersed in the music proves difficult.

Misty’s prominent style in the past was to attack both himself and the world in equal measure. The latter tends to come across much more eloquently in his music.

“Pure Comedy” lends the majority of its time on some extreme social commentary criticizing religion, capitalism and pop culture.

Each song tends to focus on a particular issue that Father John Misty decides to both depict and dissect. He purposefully dabbles in hypocrisy, with songs like “Leaving LA,” seemingly deprecating the genre and going a tangent about the state of the music industry.

The titular track, “Pure Comedy,” takes apart human nature, chalking each component up as a cosmic level joke.

Alternatively, Misty’s musical prowess shines through in equal measure. Strong moments in the songs are inspiring and dynamic with beautiful vocals. The beginning of the album is a mixture of unique sounds and ideas, but as it draws to a close, the instrumentals become repetitive and drawn out.

“Pure Comedy,” despite some flaws, is a great collection of music that measures a few notches below his last release, the critical success “I Love You, Honeybear.”

The pure skill and complexity of his songwriting shines through at many points, and it overshadows some of the album’s weaker moments.

Leave a comment