Father John Misty serenades with a classic on ‘God’s Favorite Customer’

Cover of Father John Mistys Gods Favorite Customer.

Cover of Father John Misty’s “God’s Favorite Customer.”

Alex Novak

Following the success of last year’s concept album, “Pure Comedy,” Father John Misty has returned just a little more than a year later with his fourth studio album, “God’s Favorite Customer.”

As a whole, the album feels like a conversation between life itself and Misty and his wife, who visit a place of wonder and acceptance, consideration and alignment, and one that wears the story of his own personal crisis and the ease he has gained from it.

Ultimately, its lyrical honesty and delicious purposeful blend of rock and soul harkens imagery of the likes of Lennon, Bowie and Sir Elton John, as a soothing treat to the ears and minds of the listener.

“Hangout At The Gallows” opens the record swimmingly as Father John Misty seems to call all listeners to question what they truly believe in and figure out just how much they subscribe to those ideas, urging each to ask themselves the hard questions.

Additionally, one of the most interesting tracks that the album contains is the self-describing “Mr. Tillman.” It is a humorous tune from the point of view of a hotel concierge’s feeble attempts to maintain a professional attitude while simultaneously conveying his annoyance with a longtime guest who doesn’t find a problem with his own blundering lifestyle.

The titular song “God’s Favorite Customer” suggests a level of vulnerability aside from Father Misty’s trademark societal mockery and satire, stating that he has remained far from the spiritual realm for some time, but now returns to hypocritically ask for fateful help in a time of trouble.

Moreover, a large portion of the album is spent reflecting on the concept of love, specifically to his own marriage. Misty feels that love is not a writer’s prowess despite how smart one may think they are, for it is a force unlike any other that exists.

“I’m just dumb enough to try” he jokes at one point, stating that his ‘love songs’ are only poor attempts at saying how little he admittedly knows about his own wife due to love being almost incomprehensible.

During the year between his releases, Father John Misty (Josh Tillman) went through some of the roughest and most unfortunate times of his life, struggling with an increasingly difficult case of depression, and at one point living in a hotel for two months to confront his mental state of mind.

“You’re too much to lose, you’re all that I have” he sings from his wife’s perspective; however, as she begs him to stay alive on “Please Don’t Die,” listeners can only assume that his shared feelings towards her were a major key in keeping him from losing himself to his monstrous, unhealthy mind.

“A love that lasts forever really can’t be that special. Does everybody have to be the greatest story ever told?” he further sings on “Disappointing Diamonds Are The Rarest Of Them All.”

This past year has certainly put Tillman through a mental gauntlet; one which he has battled and fought his way through — with an underlying and relentless love story that is truly great in its own unique manner — to a place of clear and solid peace.

“I’m in over my head. I’m way in over my head” he repeats to punctuate the haunting chorus of “The Palace.”

Realizing that distance is not the solution to his condition and confessing that he is only human after all, he is finally ready to come home, be with his great love, and commit to obtain the help he needs.

“What would it sound like if you were the songwriter and loving me was your unsung masterpiece?” he asks his wife. His personal life may be worn on his stage name’s sleeve, but his love for her is deeper and greater than any musical number could ever capture.

Alex Novak is an entertainment reviewer. Contact him at [email protected].