Fear Fun is Father John Misty’s best album by a country mile, an alt folk furlong and a pitchfork parsec (distance not time, see). It’s such a well rounded record that picking one track to represent it is difficult. But not impossible. We’ll You Can Do It Without Me plays like it’s the missing track from Blonde On Blonde. It has the same cheek, the same weary youthful ennui and the same folkys protest heart. But Misty’s voice is way more accessible than young Robert Zimmerman’s.
There’s a karaoke worthy set of lyrics from opener “If you see a flaming sword in your dreams at night and feel inspired to assign me up to the front line” to the last verse “If you’re bound for the throne but the King won’t die, I can occupy the queen but the queen but that’s for her and I” It’s a holler along tavern floor stomper of a song. Equal parts peacenik protest and bawdy shanty. The tune’s so simple you (and or the milkman) could whistle it. It’s so simple the last 38 seconds is just that. Misty whistling it.
What makes FJT such a compelling listen is the total ownership of his chosen fields traits. He’s all over this singer songwriter thing. On this track he’s curly hair & sunglasses Dylan. Elsewhere on Fear Fun he’s a lounge lizard, Leonard Cohen, Nick Cave, He’s a song and dance man, Warren Zevon and Tom Waits while still arching his eyebrows and playing the whole thing off as ironic.