Review Thursday: Father John Misty – “Ballad of the Dying Man”

Father John Misty
“Ballad of the Dying Man”
Pure Comedy
Sub Pop

Joshua Tillman is a man full of contradiction. At one side, when we read his piece of thought, sometimes we cannot bear his pretense and it’s clearly reflected in his 1,850 words uncensored rant about his latest album, Pure Comedy. On the other hand, as Tillman divulges each taste from Pure Comedy one by one, starting from the title track, “Two Wildly Different Perspectives”, and finally “Ballad of the Dying Man”, he continues to prove that his music is irresistible. The most adoring quality from his music is probably his knack for blatantly criticizing current social construction by using his trenchant and sharp words, yet unlike his essay, we all digest his rambling like food. “Ballad of the Dying Man”  is no exception. “The homophobes, hipsters, and 1% /  The false feminists he’d managed to detect / Oh, who will critique them once he’s left?” Tillman wails on the second verse, feeling that the dying man’s social commentary is important and the universe will lose one of its brightest minds. Written from the third point of view of a dying man who feels so important and mourns his own passing on his death bed, “Ballad of the Dying Man” contains three verses, each full of his own complaints, climaxing in the last verse when his time is near, yet he still checks news feed, until he finally realizes that he’s “a little late to the game”. Tillman sees this kind of people as something comedic. In the end, alluding to Pluto’s allegory of cave, Tillman wisely says that in the end, we’re never going to know everything, and we’re just a small speck that should know our place.


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