Love him or hate him, Father John Misty is an interesting character. His methods are unconventional, and so is his music. 2015's I Love You, Honeybear brought with it its slew of laughs, controversy, and defining moments, and things only escalte from there. Music's #1 satirist Father John Misty is back with Pure Comedy, and he's as ready to take on the world as ever.
Father John Misty's always angry at something in the world, and he makes it known on this record. He tackles pretty much everything he sees wrong from a psychological standpoint. Opening track 'Pure Comedy' on a bright note, blaming our differences on our very nature. Citing religion, gender, and even language as the roots to our separation, Father John Misty chides "Oh comedy, oh it's like something that a madman would conceive! The only thing that seems to make them feel alive is the struggle to survive" before the song closes on the admittance of "I hate to say it, but each other's all we got."
Beyond the differences, he challenges a lot more. The thirteen minute story of 'Leaving LA' is essentially a commentary on the state of people in society and how they effect it (he's not too happy with it, though). 'The Memo' blasts the Internet age and the government, too, commenting on subjects such as security and piracy. He even gives streaming a run for its money. He doesn't stray away from the familiar idea that we're all too caught up in ourselves to realize the rest of the world in 'Birdie,' too.
Instrumentally, this record is pretty fantastic. There's lot of swelling and emotional building in each track. The very final chorus of 'Pure Comedy' is explosive, and following tracks have the same principles. There are songs that start slowly and build, like 'Things It Would Have Been Helpful To Know Before The Revolution' as it punches in energy before returning to restraint, and 'So I'm Growing Old On Magic Mountain' with its sweet, moody, and dark build that progresses slowly. Other songs like 'Total Entertainment Forever' stays groovy and jazzy from the start with lots of drive to keep it going; 'When The God Of Love Returns There'll Be Hell To Pay' also stays with its tone for its entire run.
Father John Misty's messages may be hard to swallow and may very well anger you, but that's part of his art. He's music's #1 satirist. Pure Comedy is an album that channels a lot of wrongs with the world and puts them into an indie perspective for people to enjoy and have a laugh to and ultimately ignore. Though he may seem bitter, the album's final track 'In Twenty Years Or So' sums everything up pretty nicely: though life may seem difficult and may even be corrupt, "It's a miracle to be alive," so let's enjoy it in harmony.
Favorite Tracks: When The God Of Love Returns There'll Be Hell To Pay, Pure Comedy, So I'm Growing Old On Magic Mountain, Total Entertainment Forever
Least Favorite Track: A Bigger Paper Bag
Rating: 81 / 100
Buy or listen to Pure Comedy here: