Here, my dear: LD and Ariano's vocal half debrides a broken heart with a seasonally-themed solo release that puts Marvin Gaye's divorce sentiment over Large Professor production. Faithful Technicali fans will note that this is a very individual effort; apart from contributions by Huntington production prodigy LD and brother DJ Stimulus for beats and one live backing track ("All Mine") that sounds like the Roots doing coffeeshop folk-hop, this is Ariano-all-the-time—singer/songwriter subject matter and singer/songwriter philosophy but for R&B/soul instead of guitars gently doing anything. Note first: Ariano is a understated but distinctive producer, lifting warm Abbey Road/Muscle Shoals samples—his "Don't Let Me Down" borrows the Beatles track—for a breakup-and-beyond record that holds tight to the sound of the bluest blue-eyed soul. A pretty melody and drums straight down the middle make a real comfortable bed for this kind of reflection—not a lot of big banger choruses here but no clunky transitions, either. Note second: Ariano knows just how he needs to sing, too, batting around a boulder of a baritone. Nobody knows the trouble he's seen: he raps here a little like west coast independent champ 2MEX—plosive flow, personal content—but he sings more often, with the battleship dignity of Baby Huey or Isaac Hayes. (In fact, Huey's "Hard Times"—sampled by all producers ever—has a heartbreaker middle movement that could blend generously into Music2Breakup2) And note third: Ariano taps all the notes that need to be in a sad song. No maudlin mea-culpas or slurry that-bish! revenge fantasies—this is a tender and considered album that moves along the long years of a fading love affair, from argument to settlement to indefinite bereavement and . . . acceptance and peace, which takes hard times to find. ("That's how relationships go/some float, some don't," says Ariano) Music2Breakup2 tells about single dad Ariano, who has a child he loves and a woman who's hurt him. Though opener "The Answer Is No" is a tuff don't-need-you kiss-off, that phase is only fun until that first morning when you wake up by yourself—then another 11 songs (with one cameo by LMNO) run Music2Breakup2 through further wreckage and reconciliation. This is a very real record by a man who knows that part of the happy ending is just the ending—a record not about regret but rest instead. Alfred Bester had a short story I like about this kind of thing, and in the best sentence it says: "The mind goes back, but time goes on." In the best sentence on Ariano's record, it says: "We moved on, but this is a song for love." And in the best sentence from the man who said here, my dear: "Change/what you can/and what you can't leave it alone/and have the sense to know the difference between the two/mmmmmmmmmmmmmhmmmmmm."
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MUSIC2BREAKUP2 WILL BE OUT ON TECHNICALI SOUND NEXT MONTH.