I Love You, Honeybear

I Love You, Honeybear

by Father John Misty

CD

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Overview

I Love You, Honeybear

On 2012's Fear Fun, Josh Tillman introduced audiences to Father John Misty, a jaded and erudite, faux-bohemian retro-pop confectioner with a strong surrealist bent and an aptitude for capturing the American zeitgeist via wry couplets concerning the culturally and morally ambiguous wasteland of southern California. That penchant for gutter-highbrow confessionalism still looms large on his second long player, the lyrically and musically bold, and often quite beautiful, I Love You, Honeybear, but the drug-addled, disaffected Laurel Canyon drifter who served as the cruise director on Fear Fun has been replaced by a man trying to come to terms with the discombobulating effects of love, especially as it applies to his nihilistic alter-ego, which is mercilessly stripped of that ego throughout the 11-song set. The newly married Tillman is not incapable of self-effacing satire (witness the exhaustive "Exercises for Listening" instructional pamphlet, which is worth the price of the album alone), but he peppers those bone-wry moments ("I wanna take you in the kitchen/Lift up your wedding dress someone was probably murdered in," from the dizzying, weepy strings and cavernous percussion-laden title cut) with instances of real soulful brevity ("For love to find us of all people/I'd never thought it'd be so simple," from the exquisite, sparse, heartfelt closer "I Went to the Store One Day") -- the ballsy "Ideal Husband," a frantic laundry list of past digressions, best supports both predilections. Produced with great care once again by Jonathan Wilson, Honeybear has the architecture of its predecessor, but features braver melodic choices, and at a pure pop level, is the far more challenging LP of the two, but it rewards the listener constantly, whether it's delivering the yin and the yang via electro-pop tomfoolery ("True Affection"), '70s soul-pop schmaltz ("When You're Smiling and Astride Me"), or straight-up Randy Newman-inspired socio/political balladry ("Bored in the USA"), the latter of which even manages to incorporate a laugh track. Whether Tillman is maturing into the Father John Misty persona or vice versa is still up for debate, but there's no denying his growth as an artist, and I Love You, Honeybear, despite the occasional double entendre, is as powerful a statement about love in the vacuous, social media-obsessed early 21st century as it is a denouement of the detached hipster charlatan.

Product Details

Release Date: 02/10/2015
Label: Sub Pop
UPC: 0098787111521
catalogNumber: 71115
Rank: 20304

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Father John Misty   Primary Artist
Paul Cartwright   Mandolin,Strings,Violin
Hector Castro   Violin
Daphne Chen   Violin
Benji Lysaght   Guitar
Andres Renteria   Conga
Jorge Cardenas   Violin
Alethea Mills   Vocals
Farmer Dave Scher   Lap Steel Guitar
Javier Rodriguez   Trumpet
Thomas Lea   Viola
Brian Walsh   Clarinet
Elizabeth Bacher   Violin
Gabriel Noel   Bass,Strings
Chavonne Stewart   Vocals
Claire Courchene   Cello
Arnie Barrera   Trumpet

Technical Credits

Paul Cartwright   Arranger,String Arrangements,Mandolin Arrangement
Fred Herrera   Horn Arrangements,String Arrangements
Jonathan Wilson   Producer
Sasha Barr   Art Direction
Josh Tillman   Composer,Producer,Horn Arrangements,String Arrangements,Art Direction
Bryce Gonzales   Engineer
Alia Penner   Artwork
Stacey Rozich   Paintings
Gabriel Noel   String Arrangements

Customer Reviews

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I Love You, Honeybear 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
HokieProp More than 1 year ago
I had no idea what I was getting into when this album arrived in the mail, it even sat around for a month or so before I put it on. Admittedly my instant impression was, this is someone who is a little too full of himself and put out this album just to prove to his buddies that he could get away with it. Then I realized it was actually supposed to be played at 45 RPM and a whole new world opened up to me. From the title track to the last track this album takes you on a journey that is sometimes sad, often amazing and occasionally has you shaking your head wondering if he really said what you think he said. My simple advice to you is buy this album. Odds are you don’t have anything like it in your collection and we all needs our horizons broadened a little every now and then….just make sure if you buy the vinyl that you play it at the correct speed. FYI - I would have given this a 4.5 if that option were available.