Review Summary: The light at the end of the tunnel wavers and flickers, but does not go out.
It would be nearly impossible to review a Ta-Ku album without mentioning the word "vibes". In this or any other context, "vibes" has come to signify a hazy feeling that contains in it emotions submerged under a heavy layer of ambiguity; throughout Songs To Break Up To
's roughly thirty six minute runtime, Ta-Ku provides an abundance of these so-called vibes. They're stitched together elegantly to form an opaque soundscape awash in melancholy, and while the haziness of it all potentially leaves listeners the opportunity to take their own personal interpretations of what they hear, there is no doubt that the prevailing theme of love and loss will anchor any high-flying propositions.
The breakup, the severing of deep bonds and the permanent changing of the status quo between two human beings once close only in the way that lovers can be, is a stunning spectacle. It heralds inevitable change and the uncertainty of the future, and Ta-Ku paints a heady picture with his beautiful but almost despairingly moody compositions. Each track carries with it the reminder that there comes a point where language is not an adequate descriptor of emotion, only for that gap to be seemingly bridged by the delicate keys, wistful strings, and world-weary synth pads. This is the aural equivalent of a brooding mindset burdened with lovesickness, and the subtle yet effective hooks make the whole affair even harder to forget. Whenever the diced vocal samples or the hushed vocalists come on, I cannot help but mentally invoke the instance one person hears their former partner's voice for the last time, and I even find a sort of ironic fittingness with the track "Moving On"; it can barely be said that it's the most upbeat song on the record, for it's still rich in a kind of sadness that could only accompany the feeling of loss, but it is somehow imbued with a certain hopefulness that transcends its slow pacing. Such is the difficulty of qualifying and quantifying a Ta-Ku creation, because these aren't simply artificial creations, they are reflections of events in our own lives. It is hard to describe the sounds without describing the feelings that permeate them so thoroughly.
Songs To Break Up To
is at once volatile and firm, despairing and optimistic, vague and shockingly clear. It's an album that is deeply personal, yet it is able to resonate almost universally with humanity - because while we live in a society of relationships, marriages, and love affairs, we also live in a society of breakups and mistakes. As it stands, Songs To Break Up To
is an endearingly nostalgic package of opposites, making it even more of a genuine reflector of the process that is degenerating love.