Review: Father John Misty - Fear Fun

Reviews

Father John Misty

Fear Fun

By Andrew Lee

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"I ran down the road / pants down to my knees / screaming please come help me that Canadian shaman gave a little too much to me and I'm writing a novel / because it's never been done before..." 

These lyrics, (from "I'm Writing A Novel") might contain some keys to the heart of Father John Misty's Hollywood-soaked Sub Pop debut Fear Fun. Drugged out high-jinx, paranoia, humor, and the irony of schlepping to a sun-soaked southern setting where your artistic ambition and individuality make you just like everybody else. 

Remember when the Brady Bunch went to Hawaii and got themselves into all kinds of shenanigans and tom-foolery? Perhaps this record is a little like "Fleet Foxes Go To Hollywood" but in this episode drummer J. Tillman gets swallowed by the Hollywood whale and never makes it back to Seattle, disappears into drugs, changes his name to Father John Misty, and puts out a record in a puff of paranoid pot smoke. 

And just like Hollywood, there's something for everyone to be found on Fear Fun. A little bit country and a little bit rock and roll - not to mention pop, easy-listening, parody, psychedelia, and a heavy dose of singer-songwriter on acid. The songs sometimes have a carnival-like careening feeling as they spin like a menagerie of animals on a merry-go-round - and there's J. Tillman as Father John Misty, hopping from horse to fish to cat like he just has to ride them all before the music stops.