Album review: I Love You, Honeybear

Daniel Carr, Writer

Joshua Tillman set out on his new album, “I Love You, Honeybear”, to color the reality of love. He delved and scoured his mind and experiences to define this feeling to the best of his ability: the love, the jealousy, the aimlessness and just straight fear for the future.

With his recent marriage to Emma Garr, he recollects on his past to understand why he believed he would never find love. This is Tillman’s second album following “Fear Fun.” Famously known for drumming for the Fleet Foxes, Tillman decided to separate from the band in 2012 to follow himself and create his own name: Father John Misty.

I Love You, Honeybear deals with the unprecedented nature of love: the messy, grimy feelings toward another person that almost makes him seem insane. The title track kicks off with his unexplainable love toward his wife, Emma; and he reveals “my love you’re the one I want to watch the ship go down with.” He only needs her, but he fears their love will “warp and fade” from inherited problems; “I brought my mother’s depression / You’ve got your father’s scorn and wayward aunt’s schizophrenia.” He really questions their future–an immaturity he thought would eventually grow out of– although he wants to stay through all the gunk that love throws at them. This intimacy he thought he would never be sucked into; he always thought he was unable to find her.

Father John Misty reveals the dark recesses of his mind and it works. Embarrassing and almost frightful, the album shows the maturation of Father John Misty. “Fear Fun” had musical influences from the strumming ballads of The Fleet Foxes, and sings about his drug-induced stories, running naked in the desert or having sex in a cemetery.

While he still continues his old ways, exemplified through “Bored in the USA”, he sarcastically questions the sad truth; “By this afternoon, I’ll live in debt/ By tomorrow, be replaced by children.” It kind of makes the listener want to stay in bed all day.

“I Love You, Honeybear,” signifies his development into adulthood while he grovels through his relationships and mistakes through “The Ideal Husband.” His sound has become a mix of whatever he feels. From mariachi bands, to electric influences, to horns and orchestras; the album never seems to be anything less than cohesive.

Soft and peaceful, the album ends exactly where it all started, where he met his wife when he “went to the store one day.”

Beautiful and filled with emotion, the album is fantastic. Even better than his first album, “I Love You, Honeybear” is easily an 9/10.