Pure Comedy

Pure Comedy

Josh Tillman’s third album as Father John Misty is a wry and passionate complaint against nearly everything under the sun: Politics, religion, entertainment, war—even Father John Misty can’t escape Father John Misty’s gimlet eye. But even the wordiest, most cynically self-aware songs here (“Leaving L.A.,” “When the God of Love Returns There’ll Be Hell to Pay”) are executed with angelic beauty, a contrast that puts Tillman in a league with spiritual predecessors like Randy Newman or Harry Nilsson. A performer as savvy as Tillman knows you can’t sell the apocalypse without making it sound pretty.

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