Art Critique

Gabriel Garzón-Montano Impresses with Jardín

Kyara Mejia

Jardín by Gabriel Garzón-Montano was released on January 27, 2017 on iTunes, Spotify, and Google play. Born from a Colombian father and a French mother, Garzón-Montano is a singer, composer, and multi-instrumentalist from New York. The violin, bass guitar, drums, and guitar are among some of the instruments he plays.

In Jardín, Garzón-Montano fuses and weaves funk, soul, and Latin sounds into his music. The sounds for each song range from heavy bass guitar to an accompany of string instruments. Each sound is a representation of his identity and his upbringing in a multicultural household.  The lyrics and song titles of this album contain vivid imagery and metaphors. For example, in “Sour Mango”, the second song in the album, Garzón-Montano sings about picking a red, green, and ripe mango from a tree on top of a hill and tasting it. The mango turns out to be a nasty, sour mango and represents how life can be nasty like a sour mango. “I’m tired of sour mangoes, give me something sweet” is one of lyrics that represents being tired of having merciless luck in life and wanting a change.

The themes that are present in the album include love, struggle, life uncertainty, and hope. “Cantiga” is similar to “Six Eight”, a song from his first album that was sampled by Drake, in that it slowly churns, but always feels like it’s growing even though there aren’t an overabundance of elements at play. It is heavily influence by R&B instruments and sounds.The word cantiga itself means “music consisting of one musical line, without accompaniment”. It shows Garzón- Montano’s ability to create something engaging with minimal add-ons. This song is simple, quite, yet beautiful to listen to.

The second to last song “My Balloon” sends a message of hope to its listeners by providing a metaphor that describes a balloon as an object that will take a person higher and to happiness. The sounds in this track resemble 60’s and 70’s psychedelic music such as the music that the Bee Gee’s produced. It contains a heavy guitar bass line, sounds that resemble spaceships and sirens, and high pitched vocals.

The word Jardín in both Spanish and French translates to Garden in English. Throughout the album, Garzón-Montano paints a picture of a life with hardships and sadness and at the end describes happiness, hope, and growth within himself. The title is a perfect fit for the themes and representations it contained.

Garzón-Montano created a beautiful image and story with his music. He appeals to the audience by being honest and transparent about his life. His music and lyrics represent cultural and mental state information about his personal life. This might be a reason why people enjoy listening to him and what makes him stand out from other musicians. Being able to connect with the audience is important and Garzón-Montano accomplished this. The imagery and metaphors create vivid imagery that help his audience understand the themes and messages throughout the album.  Garzón-Montano’s album is truly a work of art.

This album deserves to get a “yaaaaas!” from its listeners!