Total Entertainment Forever

Ajla Nasic, Writer

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Reaffirming his alternative spin on indie music, Josh Tillman or better known as Father John Misty released his new masterpiece Pure Comedy on April 7. Misty, typically known for his soft, romantic songs has transitioned to crooning about a darker topic – singing about the narcissistic elements of modern society. The ironic title of the album deeply reflects its content, especially within one of the album’s main singles “Total Entertainment Forever”. The song, like the rest of the album, mocks modern society’s infatuation with social media and celebrities. Like his other albums, Misty adopts a humorous tone, but its contrast is far more evident in his most recently released work of art. In contrast with the singer’s other works, Pure Comedy is significantly darker in tone and far more cynical. “Total Entertainment Forever” deeply summarizes the sole intent of the album, ridiculing the hilarity surrounding celebrity culture and self-obsession derived from technological advances. Misty trills “And now the future’s definition is so much higher than it was last year” / “It’s like the images have all become real” / “And someone’s living my life for me out in the mirror”, expressing the negative impact social media has on society- choosing to represent ourselves as exaggerated versions or “mirrors” of each other through advertising our thoughts, ideals, and lives for all to see. The root of it all, Misty insinuates, is the hyper-speed expansion of technological advances which serves as a gateway to self-obsession and an unreasonable investment within celebrity culture. Although the lyrics seem to praise the “high-definition” of innovative breakthroughs, it is in fact satirizing society’s obsession with relying on social media as a principal form of communication. Despite “Total Entertainment Forever” illustrating a topic the songwriter has only embarked his exploration on, it, along with the entirety of Pure Comedy has received overwhelming critical acclaim from fans and critics alike. The song represents Misty’s capability of transitioning to a darker topic while still maintaining his smooth folk roots. Following the release of Pure Comedy, the artist has announced a tour to begin in May.