Joshua Tillman has already had a lengthy career, though this is only his second album under the Father John Misty monicker. Starting in 2003 as J. Tillman, he released eight albums of somber folk tunes before reinventing himself in 2012 when he left the band Fleet Foxes.
Since that time, Father John Misty has grown a substantial following and become a kind of new-folk icon. His music is at once emotional, humorous and biting. His vocals usually transcend the words, bringing new feelings with every note sung, while his words can make you laugh or wince with bites of truth.
"They gave me a useless education, subprime loan, craftsman home, keep my prescriptions filled, now I can't get off, but I can kind of deal," he sings on "Bored in the U.S.A." (complete with added laugh track.) "Holy Shit" offers commentary on modern day religion and religious wars.
Some of his songs get a requisite lush orchestral curtain behind them while others border the line of folk-rock, but it's always the vocals and lyrics that remain steadfast in the spotlight. He has the ability to instantly command attention with his voice, bringing the listener along for the ride — whether it makes them think, laugh or cry.
I Love You, Honeybear is 11 songs pulled off by a seasoned veteran. While some people may be looking for a sophomore slump, it's easily avoided thanks to all of the years Tillman has under his belt. If you haven't yet heard the music of Father John Misty, what are you waiting for?