On this third FJM album, Josh Tilman (channeling his inner Randy Newman, Loudon Wainwright, and Elton John) tries to make sense of the human condition. Success depends on the listener, but he does lay bear the disorder and chaos of our everyday life like nobody’s business.
The record opener (and title track) begins:
‘The comedy of man starts like this,/ Our brains are way too big for our mothers’ hips’
And a few songs later, in The Ballad Of The Dying Man we learn soon after that difficult beginng, our lives are in the hands of idiots, dilettanes, and fools. No smarter in the end than in the begining.
Elswhere on the record, gender inequality, religon, social media, mass media, society, out of control consumerism, and politics all get scorched. But he does save some loathing for himself:
“Oh, great, that’s just what we all need/Another white guy in 2017/Who takes himself so goddamn seriously.”
If there is a knock on the album, it’s that there’s no I’m Writing A Novel or True Affection, something to change the pace of the record. But that’s a small gripe. No one in 2017 is taking on the downward spiral of the human race quite like this.