Album Review: Father John Misty – I Love You, Honeybear

I Love You, Honeybear by Father John Misty

#aotd is I Love You, Honeybear by Father John Misty. This album takes the intimacy and acoustic instrumentation of Folk but also implements the instrumental spontaneity and songwriting variation of an Indie album. Despite the flamboyant and lush instrumentation, Father John Misty’s voice and lyrics remain firmly in the spotlight. On each of these tracks Misty delivers compellingly realistic songs about love which range in tone from sombre to euphoric. “Chateau Lobby #4 (In C For Two Virgins)” is a dazzling, energised song which captures all the excitement and mischief of young love with its dense instrumentation featuring trumpets and maracas and Misty’s brash lyricism “What are you doing with your whole life? How about forever?”. There is an air of refreshingly witty humour and cynicism in Misty’s lyricism on tracks like “The Night Josh Tillman to Our Apt.” where he sings about the niggling annoyances of his lover “she says, like literally, music is the air she breathes”. This self-aware sardonic outlook is prevalent over the whole of the album but it never crosses into depressing territory, it merely keeps the album grounded and helps to avoid any cheesy melodrama. Acoustic instrumentation in the form of guitar and piano is the preference for most of the album but it is often accompanied by an always gorgeous string section or other subtle additions. The track “True Affection” even features some synthetic percussion which feels out of place at first, but the way it complements Misty’s falsetto and lyrics surrounding his frustrations with how unromantic modern technology-laden communication is makes it a welcome change up. All of this is held together by some excellent production which gives the album some old-school heart reminding me of some older Elton John tunes. I Love You, Honeybear is a collection of grounded love songs which are genuinely moving thanks to Misty’s genuine approach to lyricism and creative instrumentation.
Rating: 4.2/5

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