[Review] Father John Misty - 'I Love You, Honeybear'

Father John Misty is in love, or out of love, or in love with love.  I Love You, Honeybear scrutinizes the roller coaster of an enigma we call love from both an observer’s and a participant’s point of view.

The ethereal Josh Tillman a.k.a. Father John Misty released his second studio album on Tuesday charmingly titled I Love You, Honey Bear. His pragmatic lyrics roll out playfully like a familiar nostalgia of a hippie’s fringe dragging across your goose bumped skin. Each song’s progressive melody takes you on a serendipitous ride. You can’t help but instinctively sway back and forth feeling your knees turn to syrup.

I sat with glorious anticipation as the opening track "I Love You, Honeybear" played. Just as I expected, I could feel the silly, sloppy look on my face better known as “the love grin” taking up residence on my lips.  Let’s just say it’s not difficult to fall in love with Josh. Songs like “When You're Smiling And Astride Me”, and “The Ideal Husband“ are where he honestly expresses the realness of loving someone despite faults, fear, and idiosyncrasies.  The old cliché “The moment you came to, I swore I would change” hits home in "Strange Encounter" with its guitar riffs and percussion making your soul a tad more aware.

A welcomed lyricist for our time, Father John Misty sings without blinders all the while with a candid accuracy. In “Bored in the USA”, Josh mellifluously serenades us (piano in stride) with the words, “Is this the part where I get all I ever wanted…Who said that? Can I get my money back?” A song wrapped in the theme of complacency, and disillusionment comes complete with audience laughter and applause.  The album’s ending track, “I Went to the Store One Day" shuffles in a light of hope for the love naysayers. This song in particular stirred part of me that secretly hides due to relationships lost, disappointments in love, and missed opportunities. Easily relating to the words, “And now in just one year’s time I've become jealous, rail thin and prone to paranoia when I'm stoned-this isn't true love someone ought to put me in a home…. Say do you wanna get married...?" was a gentle reminder of just how tumultuous and delightful love can actually be.  Perhaps I do long for someone who can make me feel the way this album makes me feel.  I Love You, Honeybear is the perfect remedy for all the cynical and disconnected hearts who long for someone to make them believe in these lyrics: “Don’t let me die in a hospital; I’ll save the big one for the last time we make love…all because I went to the store one day…”

Father John Misty is playing at Rough Trade in BK on Feb 12 and The Bowery Ballroom on Feb 14th. 

Have a listen to I Love You, Honeybear below. If you love it as much as we did, make sure to