Opening with the alluringly melodic "Empty Chairs," which recounts the last words of a beloved, Parlor continues in Phelan's pattern of thematic recurrence. These songs are abstractions about longing, loss, empty affection, and failing trust set to minimal soundscapes with elegant piano melodies as the foundation for layers of sedative-like lap steel, liquid percussion, and subdued, Morricone-esque cornet. Written in the studio with touring bandmembers Phil Murphy, Jim Thompson, and Paul Watson and produced by Phelan, Parlor is a more collaborative effort than his previous Songs Of, allowing coherence and synchronicity to come from a place of sustenance.
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AllMusic Review by Travis Drageset