Father John Misty – Fear Fun [Album Review]

by Woody on May 24, 2012

I don’t know what to do with Josh Tillman. Like many people, my introduction to Josh was as a member of Fleet Foxes. He’d hang back there and pop up with some easy one-liners, crank out some sweet harmonies and generally just be awesome. I was smitten with him. Soon thereafter, he opened up for Phosphorescent on a tour as a solo act. I happened to catch that tour at The Empty Bottle in Chicago which can be quite loud due to the layout. He gave us a bit of a lecture that night because the whole crowd wasn’t paying attention. Not so cool, but certainly understandable.

Fast forward to this past SXSW where the new installment of Josh’s career saw him promoting the new band Father John Misty. I was really looking forward to seeing him fronting a full band, but alas, he was playing solo. And while he was good, his attitude to the whole event was less than stellar. There was complaining about the corporate nature of the fest, the number of shows, etc. All I could think was, “Piss off. My job has its problems too but I don’t sit there and bitch to my clients about it.”

I heard Fear Fun a couple of times before Austin and really liked it, but I was so put off by Tillman at SXSW that I shelved it. That was until I caught him on Letterman. While I am still getting used to him working the stage without a guitar, it reminded me that I really did love the album. Since then, I delved back in and have been listening on repeat.

Tillman has put together an oustanding collection of some blend of Laurel Canyon folk, alt-country and California soul with some of the best lyrics you’ll hear this year. Fighting off a bout of depression by hitting the road with a big ol’ bag of boomers, Tillman really put together something that has sunk its teeth into me.

Writing A Novel – One of my favorite tunes of the year. Has a Phosphorescent feel to it which is about as high a compliment as I can pay to the man.

I ran down the road, pants down to my knees
Screaming “please come help me, that Canadian shaman gave a little too much to me!”
And I’m writing a novel because it’s never been done before

Only Son Of A Ladies’ Man

I’m a steady hand, I’m a Dodger’s fan
I’m a leaning brand of a one night stand
I’m a ladiesman

During SXSW I met a guy at a Poor Moon set that knew Josh and he said he was one of the nicest, funniest guys he knew. I mean any guy who gets his hair cut and shaves during a video can’t help but have a good sense of humor. So I am going to stop trying to analyze the man and simply enjoy his music, which is fantastic. They are giving away this album over on Amazon for $2.99. You are a dumbass if you don’t click that link and buy this album.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

oz May 24, 2012 at 12:46 pm

How about on nancy from now on?

oh, pour me another drink
and punch in the face
you can call me nancy

That’s the good stuff right there.

Smansmith May 25, 2012 at 7:11 pm

You just may be onto something…

JD June 12, 2012 at 4:48 pm

I’ve never lived a song SO much and been so confused by the mannerisms of a singer at the same time.

Chris June 14, 2012 at 11:03 pm

I like J Tillman Soooooo much. His lyrics strained and painful… real and laid bare. This feels like a rootsy, real talent trying to make 3:30 pop. I’ll listen it down. But thus far unimpressed. And without his guitar he looks a little like an awkward Mick Jagger.

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