Plenty of bands and artists have tried to perfect chamber pop into an ideal mixture classical ideas, instrumentation, and compositions with modern sensibilities and textures. Some end up landing mostly in the pop category with a few strings and horns sprinkled in, other veer far into the experimental and lose any pop appeal entirely. But Neil Hannon, leader and only consistent member of the Divine Comedy, apparently hit the ideal balance sometime in the late ‘90s and just keeps running with it. But Foreverland doesn’t sound like the result of an artist that’s been at it for over two decades. It’s still fresh and impressively in tune with the rest of the musical landscape.
Pure Comedy, Father John Misty’s third album, is a complex, often-sardonic, and, equally often, touching meditation on the confounding folly of modern humanity. Father John Misty is the brainchild of singer-songwriter Josh Tillman. Tillman has released two widely acclaimed albums – Fear Fun (2012) and I Love You, Honeybear (2015) – and the recent “Real Love Baby” single as Father John Misty, and recently contributed to songs by Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, and Kid Cudi.