father john misty – chloë and the next 20th century

The other day, I heard a comedian explain why a spot-on impression is less funny than one delivered with imagination. In much the same way, indistinguishable mimicry of time-bound music is less compelling than cherry-picking from past and present. Josh Tillman addresses this with his writing, which fastens his unique sharpness to mid-century pomp. C&TN2C is nonetheless limited by nature; the arrangements can feel unnervingly impersonated, while also sounding utterly gorgeous. Throughout, FJM’s personal fascinations are unveiled, as his storytelling shifts to the individualist obsessions of classic Hollywood. This album lands softly, but its maker is no less intriguing.  

23/30

A favourite: ‘Funny Girl’

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