Worth Staying Up For
Chris Ayer’s Don’t Go Back To Sleep is full of pop-friendly, folksy, and often optimistic tracks; Jason Mraz and Jack Johnson territory. Ayer stays true to what he’s best at, with tracks grounded primarily in guitar. He’s quite likeable with an earnest yet relaxed style, even on the folk-rock tracks. This latest release is a little more polished and mainstream than his earlier releases and while it isn’t truly innovative or groundbreaking, it’s highly enjoyable.
The first track, “Opening,” is carefree and upbeat from the hook: “The future is gonna be where I wanna be / in between you and me and all I see is / the world is opening up.” “Awake” is equally optimistic, with Ayer singing “I’m waking up for each day cause I know if this is the main event / Just let me be awake for it.”
“In the Silence” and “Long Gone” are slower tracks, the latter being a vulnerable tale of unreciprocated love (“waiting for your call since July”). Although decent listens, high energy tracks like the folk-rock influenced “Pretty Poison Things” and “This is a Test” are the standouts. In particular, the high spirited “Roy G. Biv” is a country-influenced track that sounds like Ayer is whoopin’ it up in a honky tonk, and the listener can’t help but want to dance or tap their toes.
All of the tracks on Don’t Go Back To Sleep bear Ayer’s stamp, but it’s not just the sound. It’s his warmth that comes through whether it’s a ballad or a spirited song, which make his latest well-worth the listen.