Album Review: Father John Misty’s ‘I Love You Honeybear’

With his previous album “Fear Fun,” Joshua Tillman, under the persona of ‘Father John Misty,’ brought something unexpected and unique as he branched away from his previous band “The Fleet Foxes” to his own song-writing. “I Love You Honeybear” provides another example as to how this separation has benefited the musician greatly.

Tillman’s lyrical capabilities have improved significantly this time around as he criticizes corporate America, as well as himself. The track “Bored In The USA” expresses Tillman’s sadness as he begins to grow older, wailing that “By this afternoon [he’ll] live in debt, and by tomorrow be replaced by children.” Mocking the Miley Cyrus song “Party In The USA” Tillman keeps to his dark humor, and explains how the benefits of living in the USA are living in debt, and attaining a useless education.

While his last record sounded rather monotonous at times, “I Love You Honeybear” has tracks that differ greatly allowing for Tillman to express his emotions. The track “True Affection” focuses on electronic synths, whereas other tracks range from his primary genre of folk, to abstract baroque pop.

“I Love You Honeybear” also presents itself as a personal record as Tillman digs into his place in society as a newly married man. Tracks such as “The Ideal Husband” highlight Tillman’s exasperation as he is unable to live up to certain standards placed upon him.

The album ends with the track “I Went To The Store One Day,” explaining how he met his wife for the first time. Tillman’s ability to switch between his own life and criticisms seems to be his greatest strength within the record.

Overall “I Love You Honeybear” provides Tillman’s humor juxtaposed with his seriousness found in his last record. However, this time his formula has been improved to the point of sheer excellence. Tillman once again brings an unexpected freshness to the modern folk genre with his dark humor and interesting melodies, making “I Love You Honeybear” Tillman’s best record yet.