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Father John Misty Is Enjoyable Again on “Just Dumb Enough to Try” and “Disappointing Diamonds Are the Rarest of Them All”

Singer-songwriter and occasional try-hard Father John Misty announced yesterday that his new album, God’s Favorite Customer, will be out in June. It’s the follow-up to last year’s Pure Comedy, an ambitious mess that was admirable in parts but hard to digest whole. Today, he released two new singles from the upcoming album, titled “Just Dumb Enough to Try” and “Disappointing Diamonds Are the Rarest of Them All,” both of which are a delight.

“Just Dumb Enough to Try” is a lovely rock ballad about longing and regret. Misty’s voice is shaky but powerful, openly vulnerable as he sings about his wife: “I’m just dumb enough to try / To keep you in my life / For a little while longer.” Instrumentally, the song uses softly played piano and fuzzy guitars to lean into psych-rock, creating a hypnotic effect. “I know my way around a tune,” he sings by way of contrasting all that he knows about love, but it also works in a meta sense, reminding the listener that he’s still capable of making good songs that aren’t just wry, political commentary dressed up as indie rock. “Disappointing Diamonds Are the Rarest of Them All” is a much more thunderous affair, recalling the majestic arena rock music of the 70’s as Misty swaggers around with a high-pitched command. It’s as hypnotizing as “Just Dumb Enough to Try,” with the added pleasure of being harder and brighter.

Father John Misty is always interesting both as a musician and as a personality, but these two songs are a great reminder of why his music succeeded aside from his antics. They quickly separate themselves from Pure Comedy, which at times offered merely overwrought and cynical and essays set to music. Here, Misty is relaxed and bathed in gorgeous arrangements; the result is two records that are both thoughtful and engaging.