NME reviews two brand spanking new tracks from everyone’s favourite shamastic loverman, Father John Misty.
‘Disappointing Diamonds Are the Rarest of Them All’
Uh-oh. Something’s up. The man who made love cool on lush, unabashedly romantic barnstormin’ 2015 album ‘I Love You, Honeybear’ has here unveiled a thumping, glam-rock tinged belter that sounds dangerously close to a break-up song. At first, this sounds like a typical Father John Misty track – Elton John-esque keys, laconically strummed guitar – but then it dawns on you: it sounds like he’s pounding that piano with his teeth gritted, a look of menace in his eyes. And then you listen to the lyrics, delivered in a feverish falsetto that scythes your eardrums. “Like a pervert on a crowded bus / A glare of love bears down on us”, he opens, before he compares his love to a “carcass left out in the heat.” Forget the delirious, lovestruck waltz of ‘Chateau Lobby #4 (In C For Two Virgins)’ or even ‘Smoochie’, the fractured meditation on the redemptive qualities of romantic love from last year’s album ‘Pure Comedy’. This is Misty unchained, this is Reservoir Misty, spattered in blood, wounded by love, kicking back and snarling at the person he can’t leave behind but can’t bear to be around, either. “Does everybody have to be the greatest story ever told?”, he howls in the chorus, mocking the idea that every romance is perfect, unique, timeless and eternal. And then you think: “Fuck. If Misty’s losing faith in romance, I am destined to die alone under the gaze of a pervert on the bus.” That brass instrumental arrangement at the end is nice, though.
‘Just Dumb Enough To Try’
“I know my way around a tune/Won’t be a single dry eye in the room,” sings, nay croons Father John Misty on the elegant ‘Just Dumb Enough To Try’, the latest in his ongoing series of swooning, slightly sad but ultimately really quite lush ballads. This one isn’t about subprime loans (‘Bored in The USA’) or Jesus Christ (‘When The God Of Love Returns There’ll Be Hell To Pay’) though, it’s about addictive, destructive love. Blimey. Kicking off with some plaintive piano, a la John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’, it isn’t long until we hit slightly more fabulous Elton John territory. Specks of 1970s glitter light up the darker corners of this moody tune about keeping the fading embers of love burning, like Jackson Browne after he’s knocked back a couple of special mushrooms and gone on a solo, soul-searching trip to Las Vegas. With his piss-taking persona well and truly left by the door, here the good Father is all heart – oh ok, and also a bit of crotch too, let’s be honest now. “I’m not stranger to the female form/I’ve been here a few times before,” he sighs, the terrible burden of bedding many a beautiful woman obviously weighing rather heavy on his mind. Yet this time things are different. “But you could have me anytime/Everything’s cool and great/It’s fine.” Is it though, Joshua? I suppose we’ll find out on June 1 when his fourth album, ‘God’s Favourite Customer’ comes out.