Electronic musician Guillermo Garcia Jr., who goes by Technical & Raw, released an album that can only be described as “electronic classical”. Given his background in classical and liturgical music, it only makes sense that Garcia is able to reflect it in his work of art, titled My Love. Being a concept album, My Love has Garcia taking the listener on a journey through the various stages of a romantic relationship, from the first date to the internal turmoil after a breakup.
Six of the album’s thirteen tracks are spoken-word passages that narrate the story, with each title being the date on which our narrator records his thoughts. Beginning on the second spoken-word track, we get a taste of some classical synth music playing in the background that reflects the mood of the narrator. However, with each new passage, the music gets slower and more distorted, reflecting the deteriorating relationship that drives the narrative.
It’s little nuances like this that help me appreciate this project, and it shows the effort Garcia puts into it as if he were creating a painting for us. The words spoken by Garcia in these passages are a very raw and realistic depiction of what we feel in these situations. Sure, one could say that the passages are a little corny and sappy at times but come on…we’ve all had these thoughts in our heads before. It may be awkward, but that’s the beauty of it; unadulterated sentiments that we keep to ourselves.
The first musical track that we get is “Love Song”, an appropriate title. Starting like a baroque classic, Garcia sings as one would do for a choir, using a melody that compliments a nice chord progression. At nearly three-quarters of the song, some bass notes seem to imitate a heartbeat before reaching a climax of arpeggiating synths, another example of detailed artistry. The next musical track, “Chocolate Covered Strawberries”, is similar, though it is only an instrumental. The song also includes arpeggiating synths complimenting an oboe-sounding synth lead, almost like something out of Mother Earth’s Plantasia, which I suspect has to be an influence.
The two musical tracks after the next spoken-word passage are connected beautifully. The first, “Breakup Song”, sounds like a fresh take on gospel music that ends in a haunting fashion before transitioning to the choral “All Your Love”, an absolutely beautiful and mesmerizing track that further shows Garcia’s classical background.
As much as I want to praise this project, some parts seem to be lacking. “The Toss” sounds nice overall, but I found the flow of the vocals to be a little disjointed from the progression of the song, which I didn’t find impressive to begin with. I also found some of the lyrical choices to be a bit amateurish, especially when you consider the lyricism of the rest of the album to be quite good. The final track, “To Know You Is To Love You”, was nice, but I felt like it didn’t end on the strong note it should’ve had, but maybe that’s just me.
Now, I want to talk specifically about the track “two weeks, two months, two years, or forever”, which is technically a spoken-word passage, but I didn’t count it as one since music is a very big part of it. The track is essentially the narrator coming to terms with his breakup and figuring out a way to move on. One would expect length to be the main issue, as the track is ten minutes long, but I wouldn’t say so.
To those who don’t know me, I don’t mind long songs. In fact, “Supper’s Ready” by Genesis, the song I consider to be the greatest of all time, is twenty-three minutes long. So it’s not much about length, but rather justifying that length. Tyler, the Creator has a song titled “WILSHIRE” from the album Call Me If You Get Lost, where it’s eight minutes of him speaking and trying to bind a loose narrative over the same beat. For some reason, people defend this song with excuses like, “It expands the story” (which isn’t that good anyway).
I’ve always said that for the type of artist that Tyler is, he could’ve tried doing different things in those eight minutes instead of looping the same boring beat. The same, unfortunately, could be said of Garcia’s ten-minute track. While I like what Garcia says, it does get boring after hearing the same synth arpeggio for that length of time, though it’s at least more creative and meaningful than Tyler’s “WILSHIRE”.
Here are my ratings for each song on a scale of 0-4:
- September 9, 2022 – N/A
- Love Song – 4
- November 8, 2022 – N/A
- Chocolate Covered Strawberries – 4
- April 1, 2023 – N/A
- Breakup Song – 4
- All Your Love – 4
- April 27, 2023 – N/A
- The Toss – 2
- May 22, 2023 – N/A
- two weeks, two months, two years, or forever – 2
- August 21, 2023 – N/A
- To Know You is to Love You – 3
SCORE/Excellent: I want to congratulate Mr. Garcia not only for having the first album that gets an “Excellent” score from me, but for making what I sincerely believe to be one of the most creative and awe-inspiring albums I’ve heard in a long time. “Technical & Raw” is the perfect way to describe what I experienced listening to My Love, being a window into the minds of many and describing such a human experience in a way I think few could’ve done. While not as great as some other albums I’ve heard this year, I will most certainly remember My Love. I hope to hear more Technical & Raw projects in the near future.
[We rank albums on a scale of Poor, Mediocre, Good, Excellent, and Outstanding]