This is Music Mondays, a weekly list of music recommendations.
Father John Misty, “Pure Comedy” Updated Thoughts
At the end of last week’s review of Father John Misty’s “Pure Comedy”, I stated the album wasn’t worthy of a recommendation.
My opinion has changed.
“Pure Comedy” becomes more rewarding with each listen. Certain musical subtleties and lyrical additions that I missed in my initial listens became more apparent and special as I returned to “Pure Comedy”.
These details save the second half of the album, which I still believe is less interesting than the first.
While I was not a huge fan of “When the God of Love Returns There’ll Be Hell to Pay”, “The Memo”, and “So I’m Growing Old on Magic Mountain” at first, I have realized that they add interesting ideas to the already established ideas of “Pure Comedy”.
“When the God of Love Returns” is an interesting examination of religion and creationism, and its complete with beautiful falsetto and piano.
“The Memo” is still unsubtle in its statements about modern art, but the line, “It’s not self-love that kills you, it’s when those who hate you are allowed to sell you that you’re a glorious s*** the entire world revolves around”, is one of the most memorable on “Pure Comedy”. While this line still comes across as snarky, it is pretty apt commentary on today’s idea of self-worth.
Also, near the end of this song, an electronic voice saying generic things like “Music is my life” and “This guy just gets me” makes the song even more complex in terms of the album’s broader themes.
“Magic Mountain” is still too long for my taste, but Josh Tillman’s ballad about holding onto his waning youth is a melancholy and pretty song.
My opinion on songs like “Smoochie”, “A Bigger Paper Bag”, and “In Twenty Years or So” has not changed. I still find them musically uninteresting, and their lyrics are the most boring in the tracklist.
My biggest critique of the album (its 75 minute runtime) mostly still stands. “Pure Comedy” seems shorter with each listen, but I could still do without the three songs mentioned in the previous paragraph.
In conclusion, “Pure Comedy” is a great record. It may not be amazing, but Tillman truly has something interesting to say on this album, and it’s worth hearing. I still believe 2015’s “Honeybear” is better because it was immediately rewarding upon first listen, and only got better with each repeated listen.
Nonetheless, while every song may not be immediately rewarding, “Pure Comedy” has a lot of great qualities, and I recommend giving it a few listens to see what it truly has to say.
I, for one, am certainly glad I did.
Joey Bada$$, “All-Amerikkkan Bada$$”
The newest LP from New York rapper Joey Bada$$, “All-Amerikkkan Bada$$”, is great. It is a fairly simple rap album that strays away from in-your-face instrumentation, and chooses instead to focus on the artist’s words and message. “AAB” is Joey’s second LP, and is more focused and cleaner in its production than his first, “B4.DA.$$”. Also, Joey’s rapping style is more relaxed and mellow than previous releases. This is certainly not a critique, as its one of the album’s best qualities. Joey raps about police brutality, modern racism, and the current political climate without ever becoming angry. I certainly wouldn’t blame him for doing so, but instead, Joey chooses to remain eloquent in his word choice and cool in his demeanor. This makes “AAB” a smooth and immensely enjoyable experience. My favorite tracks are “Land of the Free”, “Devastated”, and “Amerikkkan Idol”.
Future Islands, “The Far Field” Review
Baltimore indie pop band Future Islands is back with its fifth major LP, “The Far Field”. The band has not changed its sound since 2014’s “Singles”, which is the biggest critique that can be made at “The Far Field”. However, this album proves that the band is still capable of making fun, breezy pieces of synthpop, and “The Far Field” is filled with with passionate vocals and catchy instrumentation. (As a whole, “The Far Field” also doubles as great study music.) “Aladdin” and “Ran” are great pop tunes, and songs like “Time On Her Side” and “Day Glow Fire” find lead vocalist Samuel Harring at his most introspective, as he reminisces on past relationships. Other than the reggae dud “Candles”, I recommend giving this album a try.