Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Father John Misty

  • Fear Fun [Sub Pop, 2012] B+
  • I Love You, Honeybear [Sub Pop, 2015] ***

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Fear Fun [Sub Pop, 2012]
Right, he has played and may yet again play drums in Fleet Foxes, whose beat means so much to us all. But that's not the good part, for goodness sake. The good part is that, under the influence of organic psychedelics and the American road, he figured out how to deploy words, as in the deathless couplet: "And I'm writing a novel! Because it's never been done before!" Whereupon, presumably, he also figured out that novels were a losing proposition. And though he dumbs up his songwriting half the time by fearing fun literally as regards forward motion, don't give up. Beyond "I'm Writing a Novel" itself, the four best tracks are the four last tracks, where he picks up the tempo and looks fun in the eye. He could use a more outgoing drummer, though. B+

I Love You, Honeybear [Sub Pop, 2015]
Whether the character of the conflicted lifemate is the "real" Josh Tillman, as we are assured, or a subtle fictionalization, as is my default assumption, quality time is not much in him ("I Love You Honeybear," "Strange Encounters") ***