CD Reviews

PARKER AINSWORTH: Leave on the Lights

The odyssey of singer-songwriter Parker Ainsworth has taken him from his birthplace in Austin, Texas, to Los Angeles, the opposite course of many aspiring indie/ folk musicians. Indeed, Ainsworth’s fan-supported EP, Leave on the Lights, shows that he is not captive to the conventions of any particular genre. Leave on the Lights, which follows his 2009 EP Parker Loves You, started as a breakup record, but avoids the mawkish clichés that often characterize such material. Three of the EP’s six songs (all of which were written and arranged by Ainsworth) deal directly with the demise of romance, albeit in a reflective, nuanced manner: “Leave on the Lights,” “Time to Let Go,” and “The Projectionist,” which is a spoken poem that cleverly uses a movie theatre as metaphor for a failed relationship. The other three tracks are “April Full Moon,” in which Ainsworth’s smoky vocals remind the listener of Peter Wolf’s solo efforts; “The Forgiver,” an inspiring song about the power (and importance) of forgiveness; and “Favorite Jeans,” a whimsical ode to a faded pair of jeans that also serves as a sly metaphor for memories, starting over, and meeting someone new (remember, this EP started as a breakup record). Ainsworth’s pleasing vocals and acoustic guitar carry all the tunes, but in the background is a rich texture of other instruments, such as piano, dobro, cello, and accordion – a credit to the production by Ainsworth and Robin Livingston.

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