Father John Misty – Pure Comedy

While I love you honeybear was all about honesty, love and marriage, Pure comedy is a grand statement on society and humanity itself, according to the cynical and funny worldview of J.Tillman. With 13 tracks, including the 13 minute long Leaving LA,  running at a total of 74 minutes, it is also Tillman’s longest record to date. The opening and title track pure comedy, takes us on a grand journey from the birth of humanity to the current state of society, cynically and humorously narrated by Tillman.

The comedy of man starts like this

Our brains are way too big for our mothers’ hips

And so Nature, she divines this alternative

We emerged half-formed and hope that whoever greets us on the other end

Is kind enough to fill us in

And, babies, that’s pretty much how it’s been ever since

Ain’t that some shit. The track does a great job of setting the tone of what’s to come and has one of the best instrumentals on the album. The short crescendo in the middle of the track also has one of Tillman’s best chord progressions to date, topped with screeching anxiety inducing horns. The following track, total entertainment 4ever, is about Tillman’s view on entertainment and how it is fundamentally stupid as a concept. Tillman does receive a lot of criticism from haters calling him a pretentious hipster asshole, and while I definitely can see where they’re coming from, with Tillman himself being an entertainer and all, he comes across as very self aware of this fact himself and goes on to make fun of it during the course of the album. The track is one of the most upbeat and fast on the entire album and also comes with a great music video featuring that guy from the home alone movies with the weird name that I’m not even gonna try spelling out. The next track, Things that would have been helpful to know before the revolution is one of my favorite songs on the album and is about what it would be like if mankind returned to its native state. 

Sometimes I miss the top of the food chain sings Tillman and it works pretty good as a sum up. 

The album is a lot slower and heavier in its tone than his previous work and while some fans might be put off by that, some will like it. That’s how things are sometimes. It’s more cohesive than his previous albums too, with all of the tracks sounding more similar to each other in terms of instrumentation. All in all, I think it’s a great album but it does require more attention from the listener in order to fully enjoy it and appreciate the often complex and witty lyrics.

8/10

Little Dragons Season High Review

Little Dragons has me disappointed, because for a band who can do so much, they left me wanting so much more

 

 

Little Dragons has been everywhere and done everything but somehow cannot bring any of that experience into their own music. Lead Yukimi Nagano finds stellar collabs on Big Boi´s Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors and Gorillaz’s Plastic Beach, but the Swedish based pop group hasn’t been able to translate that same quality to their own works.

 

For a band who has been coming to their own via huge features on progressive albums with huge casts, Little Dragons’ latest album Season High feels like just more of the same, and not in a best hits kind of way. Rather than bring in some of their wide catalog of collaborators, Little Dragons finds comfort in controlled, technical mood music that lacks its own identity. Season High feels like an extension of Nabuma Rubberband, but without any growth from the band’s other collaborations.

 

There’s no doubt that Season High doesn’t have the tried and true Little Dragons polish, but in an over-explored 80’s throw back soundscape, that technical precision isn’t enough to carry the album. Overall it just feels dispassionate, another forced album to complete a contract with no real soul or feeling despite its R&B feel. For all the references to the greats, their seems to be no inspiration or strong influences. Nagano seems almost bored. In a band that thrived on presence, she seems to be more of a mouth piece for bland, flat songs that she has no interest in.

 

For a band that has been pushing a narrative of going back to their own work, bringing the collars into their own music, it seems that thought was forgotten in the recording room. As much as Little Dragons wants to be their own entity, it seems they just cursed themselves to be that band you heard of on someone else’s album. Their collaborations have been great, but they need to take a moment and find the magic we see they can have, within their own music sphere.

 

If it was 2010 and this was Little Dragons’ debut album, I would be excited to see what they have to offer, but now I’m wondering if they’ve just run their course.

 

I give Season High a 4.7/10