Father John Misty – Chloë And The Next 20th Century

They sometimes ask what use is having wisdom when it brings no profit to the wise, and for Josh Tillman the relentless contortions of hyper self awareness were writ large on 2017’s Pure Comedy, a 75 minute homage to the zeitgeist which critics adored but for Joe public almost certainly felt like some kind of test.

Inevitably – the only destination on that treadmill if continued is checking in somewhere with locks outside the doors – it’s follow up God’s Favourite Customer was a more introverted affair and a four year intermission since offered the chance for reappraisal. One of the most attractive facets to the Father John Misty persona though, even if it was never more than a see-through disguise, was the free reign Tillman gave it/him for subversion of traditional things; pleasingly this idea is the basis of his fifth album.

A little like Annie Clark used Daddy’s Home to assume form, Chloë And The Next 20th Century sees Tillman trying on a series of neatly constructed 20th century homages, from the reedy opener of the title to Funny Girl’s string laden balladry and the gorgeous Bossa of Olvidado (Otro Momento). The devilish twists are still present though, especially on closer The Next 20th Century, but Josh Tillman for now seems both wise and at ease, conditions these times rarely allow.

You can read a full review here.

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