When You're Smiling and Astride Me
Label: Bella Union
J. Tillman's work under his Father John Misty alias is frequently tagged "folk," yet the sprawling I Love You, Honeybear reflects the singer-songwriter's love of the ambitious pop of Harry Nilsson, John Phillips and Todd Rundgren. Though a concept album (one detailing troubled relationships, the bankruptcy of modern society and numerous other crises), the bigger-picture story takes a back seat to the production of Tillman and cohort Jonathan Wilson. From the softly soulful "When You're Smiling and Astride Me" to the orchestral "Holy Sh*t," this is some truly splendorous stuff.