FATHER JOHN MISTY — GOD’S FAVORITE CUSTOMER

Rating: 5/5
Release date: June 1, 2018

Finding Dory is my all-time favorite movie. When it came out, I watched it no less than 15 times, and I cried every single time. It’s such an emotional investment, I almost never want to watch it again. It’s too much.

That’s how I feel about “God’s Favorite Customer.”

Father John Misty creates such an emotional investment in this incredible 38 minutes that I’m tired now. And I love it.

“Hangout at the Gallows,” the opening track on this record, is a saga of intrigue. Reminiscent of “I Am the Walrus,” it makes you feel like you’re tripping through time in a 1960s club. The five minutes feels like an entire generation went to school and had kids. “Mr. Tillman” reminds me of Nirvana’s “Heart Shaped Box; “Just Dumb Enough to Try” is a modern-day “Rocket Man.” It’s all very eerily reminiscent of things we’ve heard before while still being refreshingly different. Misty has a knack for changing just enough subtle cues to keep you interested and listening without being overwhelming. He’s the snake in the grass in a field of a guerrilla army.

“Date Night” is an incredibly upbeat, engaging bop, but the next track, “The Palace,” is one of the most beautiful songs I’ve ever heard. Misty’s chord changes are unexpected but soothing; his voice weary but wary, guiding you through the story on voice tone alone.

“The Palace” is so striking I had to take an intermission.

Misty closes the album with another five-minute feature called “We’re Only People” that really makes you feel like you’re saying goodbye to a friend you know you aren’t going to see in a while — “oh, friends, all my friends / oh, I hope you’re somewhere smiling” — so it almost feels like cheating to listen to the album again.

Truly a masterpiece. Listen here.

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