What makes an album cute, cliche, corny, cheesy? Is it the title? The lyrics? The theme? How does Josh Tillman, a.k.a. Father John Misty, drummer for Fleet Foxes, release an album named, I Love You, Honeybear, about his newly married wife, and perfectly blend the corny-ness with deep, interesting music? Maybe it’s because he’s troubled throughout the album. He’s in love, don’t get me wrong, but lyrically, he expresses concern, as any anxious or worried individual would ponder about the unknowing future, hoping it all works out great from here on. I Love You, Honeybear is really sweet. The album is musically huge, instrumentation wise. Tillman is a great storyteller, like a man who’s lived on top of a mountain his entire life. And it’s very warm and welcoming. But don’t take it as sit back and relax only record, there’s something for everyone. It’s raw, real, personal, and emotional.
On I Love You, Honeybear, Tillman turns what would have been a cheesy large orchestral singer-songwriter love-ballad concept album into an introspective and meaningful record that absolutely just kills me every time. I don’t know how, but a little tear always comes out after the last line of the record. It’s beautiful. Besides expressing his love for his wife, Emma Tillman, or even concern over their new marriage, and what lies ahead for them in the future, my favorite track has to be “Bored in the USA.” Near the end of the record, Tillman talks about his bouts with depression, how different things in the world bring him down, how he feels hopeless sometimes. And this gut-wrenching depressing ballad, filled with crowd laughter samples as they mock him, might be one of the most powerful songs I’ve ever heard.
I Love You, Honeybear deserves from everyone, at least a listen. It’s a beautiful record and a nice haven for knowing that you’re not the only one who has thoughts like these for when you need it.