Featured Music Friday: Pure Comedy

Featured Music Friday: Pure Comedy

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On April 7, singer-songwriter and former drummer for “Fleet Foxes,” Josh Tillman, who began singing as his Father John Misty persona in 2012, released his third studio album, “Pure Comedy,” a sprawling, 75-minute exploration of capitalism, pop culture, technology, humanity, politics, cynicism, revolution, and everything in between. “Pure Comedy” is both beautiful and tortuous, exemplified by the album’s mainstay, “Leaving LA,” a 13-minute, autobiographical narrative that, at times, is both haughty and humble. Today’s political climate (and climate change) provides the cynical Misty with a generous amount of source material, so much so, that much of the beautiful orchestral arrangement of the album gets swallowed by the lyrics, or simply feels out of place. That’s not to say Misty’s melodies fall flat entirely, but the most successful songs on the album are the few where the songwriter’s poeticism engages with the swells of his supporting orchestra, such as on the album’s self-titled opener, “Pure Comedy,” the utopian “Things It Would Have Been Helpful to Know Before the Revolution,” and the sarcastic “Ballad of the Dying Man.” Misty’s doomsday aesthetic, although challenging to the listener, resonates auspiciously in 2017. As Pitchfork Staff writer, Jazz Monroe wrote in his review of the album: “Josh Tillman…excels at tormenting those unlucky souls who enjoy his music.” Featured Music Friday is brought to you by Blackfire Research.

 

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