Ariano, half of the California duo LD & Ariano, offers a solo outing and, in the process, places his finger on the pulse of love. He knows what makes relationships tick, which is useful if (a) you want them to continue ticking or (b) you want to recognize when they ain’t tickin’ no mo’. On Music2BreakUp2 (that’s “Music To Break Up To”), Ariano has chosen to guide you through the second option, so you can see how the drama starts, understand why it ends, and realize there’s life after love (thanks to a slightly morbid, but clever, funeral analogy in “Resting Peacefully”).
Ariano wants to be the Alfred Hitchcock who shows you the mysteries of the heart, or maybe the Rod Serling in your love life’s Twilight Zone. He’ll show you, through a combination of eerie vocal stylings and proficiently smooth emcee skills, the bitterness (“The Answer is No”) and the regret (“Shame”) of emotional commingling. Approaching former flare-ups with the benefit of hindsight, Ariano’s examines it all: the moments of daydreaming (“Always on My Mind”), the possessiveness (“All Mine”), the need for support (“Don’t Let Me Down”), and even the happiness of being alone when the giddiness shatters (“Can’t Hold a Grudge”, “U Can’t Stay Here”). We’ve all been there, except maybe standing at the threshold of revenge-murder, as in “Bad Plan Gone Good” (but don’t worry, the protagonist looks into his heart, takes the high road, and abandons his nefarious plot).
As it stands, Music2BreakUp2 is a cool kiss-off, a concept album you can play “after the love is gone”—to nab a line from Earth, Wind & Fire. If the subject matter resonates with you, it’s probably best to listen to it when you can look back soberly on past situations. Sure, we could probably navigate these feelings on our own, but it’s nice to have a tour guide and it’s good to be reminded that someone else has experienced some of love’s complications too.