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Fear Fun CD

4.9 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (30 April 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Bella Union
  • ASIN: B00786XX8A
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 131,766 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product description

Product Description

Fear Fun is the first album from J. Tillman under the moniker Father John Misty. The former Fleet Foxes drummer (Tillman left in 2011) had been releasing "solo" albums under his own name since 2003. The album was recorded in his home studio in Echo Park, LA, and was mixed by Phil Ek (Modest Mouse, Built to Spill, Band of Horses, Fleet Foxes).

BBC Review

For all their stark and fragile resonance, neither album that Joshua Tillman had previously released in the UK – Vacilando Territory Blues and Year in the Kingdom, both issued in 2009 – suggested Fleet Foxes’ drummer was destined for a solo career.

In fact, as diligent Josh fans knew, the latter of the two was already his sixth; and a seventh, Singing Ax, followed in 2010. Still, when Josh decided to leave the über-successful Seattlites, it seemed a bit risky. But he clearly knew something we didn’t.

Tillman’s first album as Father John Misty takes giant steps to underline his credentials, with a broader ambition, vocal reach and emotional gravitas. Tillman claims this was the result of leaving Seattle with “enough [magic] mushrooms to choke a horse,” and settling in Laurel Canyon, LA’s epicentre of soft-rock dreams, though another theory posits that his younger brother Zach could be the catalyst.

Zach had adopted an alias, Pearly Gate Music, before Josh; and his album of the same name (also on Bella Union) was partially indebted to Big Star’s seminal Third/Sisters Lovers opus, just as Fear Fun is. It’s clear Josh has sidelined his Neil Young-isms just as he had settled in Young’s backyard.

The connection to late Big Star lynchpin Alex Chilton is underlined by Fear Fun’s references to Jesus (Tillman considered becoming a pastor before being saved by the Good Lord Rock’n’Roll). These nods begin with Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings, and Tillman mirrors Chilton’s same forages into 50s roots music: for example, on the barroom swing of Tee Pees 1-12.

Not that Fear Fun isn’t its own, inspired brew of, indeed, both fear and fun. It’s located in a Bermuda Triangle of haunted ballads and wired rockers between Chilton, Young’s After the Gold Rush and Fleet Foxes’ lonesome-pine beauty, before Tillman stirs in his own twisted DNA, confessing in I'm Writing a Novel, "I ran down the road, pants down to my knees, screaming.”

Another plus factor is the crack Laurel Canyon session team assembled by producer Jonathan Wilson, which gives Tillman a shifting, expansive backdrop on which to spill his layered, narrative mysteries. Whoever Father John Misty is, he’s a hell of a find.

--Martin Aston

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Vinyl Verified Purchase
Love this album! It arrived in perfect condition with a CD version making it easy to add to iTunes library. I did take ages to deliver but I think that's more to do with the courier service, but overall very happy with my purchase
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
A terrific album! Blessed with a fine voice, pitch perfect, mellow rhythms and melody and imaginative lyrics, Josh Tillman has created a magical west coast masterpiece, reminiscent of the best of 60s/70s American country rock and the Beatles, White album territory.
His talent is evident in all of his previous understated releases, but here he steps forward into the light. Though Tillman has likely benefitted from his association with the Fleet Foxes (being the drummer), he is stands on his own with confidence. Whereas previous releases have been, in the main, understated, quiet, simple songs of fragile beauty, `Fear Fun' goes multicolour. Arrangements and production are lavish, giving the songs a sweet, warm, summer feel and there is a more variety across the album.
The songs are strong and varied throughout: the punchy, Beatlesy `Well, you can do it without me'; countrified `Tee Pees 1-12'; angelic, Hammond organ driven `O I long to feel your arms around me' - it all adds up to a very satisfying listen.

Dithered between 4 and 5 stars. However, the guy deserves great credit, and the first reviewer (excellent review!) gave 4, so 5 it is! More please!
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Format: Audio CD
Well-done Joshua Tillman. It takes a lot of guts to leave one of the most successful rock bands on the planet whose star is still heading northwards to cut out on your own and produce an album that is the culmination of much forethought over time. Tillman was of course the drummer in the Fleet Foxes until he departed this year to concentrate on this project under the moniker of Father John Misty (ok the idea is a bit Will Oldham derived). He had under his belt some seven albums not least the nice bluesy Americana of 2009s "Vacilando Territory Blues" that whilst not quite turning the earth off it axis contained some fine tunes from a fine musician. In terms of "Fear Fun" his latest offering more risks are taken and they largely pay off in music which sees Tillman employ a more expansive template.

Undoubtedly some will argue that the ghosts of Laurel Canyon haunt his production but damn it if its good enough for Dawes and Jonathan Wilson why can't old Joshua have a slice of the action? In decamping to Los Angeles to record this album Tillman also seems to cultivated a sense of humour which was somewhat lacking from previous records. He describes the album as "weird-ass songs about weird-ass experiences" which allude to such existential luminaries Sartre and Heidegger as inspiration. Whether such a bunch of angst ridden philosophers is a good template for essentially West coast rock music is a debate that this reviewer will leave to the cleverer purchasers on Amazon, suffice it say that that large parts of this record are upbeat and in the equation of the title fun triumphs over fear. The use of otherworldly substances clearly plays a part in all this and Tillman admits that on his journey from rainy Seattle to humid LA he was carrying "enough mushrooms to choke a horse.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I just cannot get bored of it. It is an album that is difficult to label as it seems to incorporate several different genres but it works oh so well.
There isn't a track that i dislike or feel is too weak to be on the album but of course I like some better than others, my favourites being Fun times in Babylon, Hollywood forever cemetery sings, Misty's nightmares and my absolute favourite, Nancy from now on.
Josh's voice is beautiful, yet strong and this is definitely noted when seeing him perform live. He is gifted, has a stunning voice, good looks, great songs and can certainly move those hips when performing. He has the lot. I've heard some of his new material for the next album and i can't wait.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Having recently been introduced to the songwriting talents of J.Tillman, this exceeded expectations. A clever, career defining piece of work, some fantastic arrangements & above all wonderfully crafted lyrics all delivered with a fantastic vocal talent. Bit bonkers too. But in a really really good way.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The more I listen to this album the more I like it. I think the Fleet Foxes are very good, but sometimes I find them a bit flat. This has definitely has similarities with the Fleet Foxes but it has much more of an edge to it. Excellent stuff and well worth a punt.
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Format: MP3 Download Verified Purchase
Initially missed this when it first came out but glad I stumbled upon it, great album and one of the most played this year.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Mainly picked this up on one recommendation and because Bella Union has a great stable of artists... didn't disappoint. Obviously takes reference from Fleet Foxes, but has a lot more attitude. Best album I've heard this year so far. By miles.
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