Reviewed by Aaron Cloutier
Singer Elizabeth Luka delivers a powerfully dynamic and arresting performance on the melancholy “Why Won’t You?” It is a pop ballad calling to those in power to stop for a moment and put themselves in the shoes of the civilians suffering the consequences of the war in Ukraine.
Written by Patrick Tabaks, inspiration for “Why Won’t You?” is drawn from questions like “What if your home was destroyed by a rocket and you were separated from your family not knowing if they’re alive?” “What if you knew Russian soldiers were crossing your borders and showing up in your backyard?” “How can you not see what is happening here?”
The prosody is strong on this one as the music undoubtedly reflects the somber nature of the subject matter. Melancholic strikes of piano set the tone as they produce a beautifully delicate progression in C# minor, giving space for Luka’s soulful voice to join in. Her vocals are dialed in a beautifully intimate and upfront manner, as if she’s whispering right into your ear. That whisper soon swells into an eruption of feeling as Luka weaves up and down through ambitious runs and vocal hooks. I was shocked to learn that she is only 17 years old with a voice that sounds mature beyond her years.
Supporting her throughout are the expertly fingered bass lines and pristine clean guitars while electronic beats tie the song together in a slow, hypnotic groove. The sonic image of the piece is very spacious and full of energy.
In addition to the immense emotional power of the performances and subject matter, there is a lot of really interesting things going on arrangement wise on “Why Won’t You?”
I particularly enjoy the way the first chorus sets up the 2nd chorus for an even bigger payoff. In vast contrast to most happier sounding pop tunes, the chorus on “Why Won’t You?” is very restrained as far as arrangement goes compared to other sections in the song. That all said, not one iota of emotional impact is lost. On the contrary, the sparse instrumentation points all the attention towards this ocean of feeling I get from Luka as she sings “Why Won’t You See Us?” I always love that “calm before the storm” approach when setting up choruses in a sadder-sounding ballad. Luka takes a similar approach with the verses as the rising action in verse two gripped me and set the stage for swells of emotion during the second pre-chorus.
In short, “Why Won’t You?” is a powerful statement that demands to be heard. All It will take is one listen, and I’m confident that you’ll be back for more.
About Patrick & Elizabeth
Elizabeth Luka is 17 years old singer from Latvia who has been on stage for over 12 years, including USA and Australia. She has been concerting with known Latvian musicians such as Janis Lusens, Uldis Marhilevics, Anmary, Miks Dukurs, etc. Elizabeth has participated in several vocal contests throughout the years, including LTV The Master of the Voice. At only the age of 10, she released a full-length album with the songs for children. Elizabeth is studying Musical performance at Riga Dome Choir School and currently performing in a Latvian musical called “Kaupen Mans Millais”. Besides singing in gospel choirs, the years of dancing practice have also added great dancing to her skill set.
Patrick Tabaks was busy readying his debut album Lost My Mind for release in September. The 17-year-old singer-songwriter / producer spent much of 2021 writing and recording the nine-song collection in studios in the U.K., Sweden, Canada, the United States as well as his native Latvia.
Patrick Tabaks has been immersed in music since his sister began teaching him piano at the age of six. He began singing on the professional opera stage at the age of 11, performing at the Latvian National Opera and becoming known as “the boy with the golden voice.” Over the next four years, he performed duets with famous opera singers and participated in productions of different operas both in Latvia and abroad. Even with his own album complete, Patrick has no plans to slow down.
He is currently cowriting and co- producing new songs with singer Elizabeth Luka, as well as collaborating with producer Tim Lars on an electronic pop single called “Countryside” that will be released on October 15th. He has also started rehearsals for the leading role in a new musical Star Child that will debut in November. Patrick was also a part of the cast of musical Rent when the production resumed at August 2021.
Stream on Spotify