Review: God’s Favorite Customer by Father John Misty

God's Favorite Customer by Father John MistyI quoted Marshall McLuhan – of course, I quoted his “the medium is the message” adage – at the end of my review of Pure Comedy, the difficult last album from Father John Misty. That holds true now, because God’s Favorite Customer benefits from shifting its sound away from really emotive piano-based ballads to something a little warmer. Yes, the album reminds me a bit of Elton John – straightforward yet lush piano-driven pop – which means plus points for me, but more importantly, the album sees Josh Tillman look inward again, rather than compelling himself to have a say at whatever it is that’s going on. The second half, particularly, is when things break down for the better: the perceived difficulties of the Father John Misty persona melt away through album highlights “Please Don’t Die” (how do you make such a plea sound cheerful?) and “The Songwriter”. Perhaps, like its immediate predecessor, God’s Favorite Customer is an album of its time: while the former assessed the damage through a grand scope, the latter goes inward and asks, “maybe it’s us who fucked this all up.” Not everybody wants to go inward, but Josh makes it sound so compelling. [NB]4/5

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