Father John Misty "I Love You, Honeybear"

Father John Misty is madly in love with his new bride and you're invited to the party.

“Love is the drug” so says the song, and so it goes the new album from Josh Tillman, aka, Father John Misty. I Love You, Honeybear is a celebration of Tillman’s new bride, Emma, and their young marriage. The songs are romantic, sentimental, sacrilegious, profane, and explicit to the point of blushing. The album could be subtitled T.M.I..

Since meeting in a Laurel Canyon liquor store Josh and Emma have been inseparable. His cynical approach to songwriting, so obvious in his previous album, is tempered but not tamed. Tillman’s focus is on his wife and their loving, very physical relationship. The title track begins with an explicit description of the wedding sheets and advances to using just about every adjective for sexual acts and positions. By the way, if you buy the physical copy of the album you can check out the special recipe booklet that accompanies every song. (Lord help you if you have all the ingredients in your home – keep them from the kids). The CD packaging includes pop-up elements.

I suppose it won’t come as a surprise that there are two versions of the album, one for airplay, the other for consenting adults. Tillman was raised in a strict religious family and it seems he’s still acting out against his childhood. He is most cynical as he doles out religious commentary. Current culture is skewered on the satirical “Bored in the U.S.A.” on which he employs a laugh track that runs under lyrics full of painful revelations.

Tillman is a smart and clever writer, some might too clever at times. He can be outrageously funny, at other times a tad pompous. His music consists mostly of folky-rock with flair-ups of dramatic strings. If the man sounds a little mad, it's not the drugs (of which he does plenty based on the lyrics) - it's the love.

Rosemary Welsch (Afternoon Mix)

 

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