#30 Father John Misty – “Pure Comedy” 52 Weeks of 2017 Albums

Pure Comedy is anything but. With nary a laugh to be found Josh Tillman’s alter ego Father John Misty has released his 11th album in 14 years, 12th if you include his one record four year stint drumming for Seattle’s hipster folk darlings Fleet Foxes. The fact that Tillman released Pure Comedy one week before Easter (the Friday before Good Friday being as close to an Easter release as one can possibly have seeing as most shops are closed on Good Friday) seems more than just an obvious nod linking the album to Dante’s 14th century Divine Comedy documenting the author’s journey through heaven and hell from the night before Good Friday through to the Wednesday after Easter. This, coupled with the Hieronymus Bosch inspired cover art aping the 15th century artist’s macabre and nightmarish depictions of hell appear to be Tillman’s way of telling us that all is not well. Tillman openly lashes out at his Evangelical Christian upbringing lamenting the sad state of human affairs in the year twenty and seventeen while mocking his own sense of rock star self importance due in part to his most recent successes. A dark and ambitious album steeped in dense language and haunting arrangements, Pure Comedy is by no means a laugh a minute Saturday night on the town party record but more a Sunday morning pastoral meditation, quiet, thoughtful and reflective. Rating: 9/10

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